Winter Week 3 and 4—Things to Be Thankful For

First hard frost of the season. This makes me really excited, because at long last the kale that people have thought tasted so good is now going to taste amazing! Frost converts the starches in the leaves to sugars—nature's antifreeze.

First hard frost of the season. This makes me really excited, because at long last the kale that people have thought tasted so good is now going to taste amazing! Frost converts the starches in the leaves to sugars—nature’s antifreeze.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Keuka Gold” Potatoes
• Candy Carrots
• Variety Beets
• “Winter Luxury” Pie Pumpkin
• “Italian Late” Garlic
• Celery
• Fresh Thyme
• Salad of Baby Lettuces

NEXT WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Keuka Gold” Potatoes
• Candy Carrots
• Parsnips
• Mixed Squashes or Fennel
• Green Onions
• Savoy Cabbage
• Fresh Parsley
• “D’Anjou” Pears from Cliffside Orchards

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Baby Bok Choy, Kale, Shallots

Celery, like Radicchio, is actually somewhat frost-tolerant. It looks sad for a bit, because the cold sucks water out of the stems, but soon they will return to normal. They just can't handle prolonged freezing.

Celery, like Radicchio, is actually somewhat frost-tolerant. It looks sad for a bit, because the cold sucks water out of the stems, but soon they will return to normal. They just can’t handle prolonged freezing.

This is a confusing week for CSA subscribers. Because Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, which is the first picking day for our weekend markets and weekend CSA pickup. We don’t want to harvest on Thanksgiving, and we don’t want Teo to do that either. Thanksgiving is a day to be with friends and family, not slogging through cold mud, bent-over picking vegetables.

Therefore, we pick two weeks worth of produce for the weekend before. Weekend subscribers will pick up two weeks worth this weekend, and there will be NO PICKUP after Thanksgiving, November 29 and 30. Tuesday and Wednesday subscribers will get the standard allotment both weeks. If that does not make sense, please let me know right away.

That said, we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend, full of friends and family. We have much to be thankful for, especially a community of 150-ish families who support our farming efforts and allow us the privilege of feeding them. Nothing brings us all together like production and consumption of healthful food.

Matilda is 3 months old, and she is only just starting to eat plants. Here she nestles in the hay while her mom, Beauty eats breakfast.

Matilda is 3 months old, and she is only just starting to eat plants. Here she nestles in the hay while her mom, Beauty eats breakfast.

In our new world of homeschool (no pun intended), the kids and I have been studying Colonial times, in an effort to better grasp a sense of the history of Thanksgiving and our past. I think that it really helps to understand “thankfulness”, especially children, to learn about just how difficult it was to start a new life in a new world. Landing on a foreign place at the most difficult time of year (November) after being on a tiny boat with 100 other people for a miserable journey lasting many months, and then needing to live on that boat through the winter until housing could be built and land cultivated in the spring. Meagre food stores and no fresh food available, damp and cold surroundings, and new germs making everyone sick, and then losing half of your population in the process. There really is no other word to describe it except MISERY.

And yet, those people had to persevere. They had to forge the new landscape, start from scratch, and not only survive, but get ahead so they would have food for the NEXT winter as well. Surviving in the face of a culture who found them foreign, stupid, helpless, and not wanted, was truly something to be thankful for.

Personally, we have farmed through loss of family, through illness, and through bad weather. But we are living in modern times and we at least have the luxury of shelter, heat, and grocery stores, and backup jobs in case it’s a bad year. I can’t imagine persevering with a lack of medicine when your children are sick and dying. Or rats eating all of your stored grain in the middle of winter and facing three more months of winter without any food. How did people find the strength to keep going? What about the next wave of people, who had been fed lies about how successful those first colonies were, only to arrive at the doorstep of desolation? I can’t imagine.

We are extremely lucky.

And that is something to teach our children, and to remember every day.

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One response to “Winter Week 3 and 4—Things to Be Thankful For

  1. VERY WELL SAID FOR THANKFULLNESS WE ALL NEED TO REFLECT ON HISTORY TO UNDERSTAND MORE WE LOVE FRESH LOCAL VEGIES DUE TO YOUR EFFORT ENJOY THE HOLIDAY AND THANKS FOR GROWING!!!!! KEVIN/TRISH

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