>Winter Week 9: Making the Most of What Is Left


• “Heart of Gold” and “Acorn” Squashes
• Variety Potatoes
• Turnips
• Baby Leeks
• Baby Carrots

In the middle of summer and into the fall, we plant our winter crops. We plan on having certain vegetables that can handle winter weather: freezing, snow, rain, etc. Some of these hardiest vegetables are Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, leeks. We routinely leave our root crops in the ground, because that is where they keep the best. We lose a few to critters every winter, but in the 40 years that Mike has been farming, the carrots, beets, potatoes, etc., have always been left in the ground for safekeeping. Besides keeping better, the frost and cold temperatures keep them sweet-tasting.

But we had some record-breaking temperatures this month. Not only did everything stay frozen for weeks, the last three days of the cold snap, our farm stayed at a night-time temperature of 5°. It has never been that cold in our years here. The lack of moisture made things even worse—frozen snow would have been better than dry, exposed ground. The leafy crops that made it through the freeze were desiccated as the cold air sucked the moisture out of them. The bigger carrots and beets, and most of our potatoes have turned to mush underground as they thawed out. Only the potatoes that were set the deepest—that’s the plants’ doing, not ours—have withstood the temperatures, but it has taken a lot of doing to get them out of the ground.

So, we have no greens left. Anything with leaves is dead to the ground. Most of the plants are still alive, but with no tops. We’ll have to wait until spring’s longer days and warmer temperatures raise them all from the dead.

We are loading you up with what we do have left, and we will do this again next week. Then we will be finished with our winter season, unless you want more squash. We will do our best to make up the last two weeks of winter in late March/early April, before our spring shares start. If we aren’t able to make it up in the spring, we will give everyone a credit for the last two weeks good toward next winter’s shares.

Hopefully next year’s garlic crop is ok in the ground—garlic isn’t planted very deeply. We will most likely plant more softneck garlic in the spring, if seed is available. And we will make plans to keep a supply of root vegetables in the cooler just in case this happens again next year.

22 responses to “>Winter Week 9: Making the Most of What Is Left

  1. >Sounds like its been a really rough season. For what its worth, the vegetables we have been receiving have been wonderful for winter soups, root vegetable dishes and just having on the side. You do what you can and we thank you for it! I'm reading Epitaph for a Peach right now and it certainly highlights that farming isn't always as easy as the supermarkets make it out to be…good farming that is. 🙂 Keep your heads up!

  2. >I knew when I signed up how winter can be rough, your blog from last year showed that. Thanks for being so dedicated. We've been able to enjoy such delicious vegetables in winter at all is a treat. I want to second that they do indeed make a great soup!

  3. >I'm terribly sorry for the rough period…yes, it was cold! Thank you for the wonderful experience thus far. This is our first CSA share and it has been a treat and blessing. Best of luck as the new seasons kick off, and we can't wait for the deliciousness yet to come! 🙂 As a third, the soups were AMAZING! Thanks again.

  4. >Just to add my thoughts to what others have said – sorry it's been another tough winter. But please know that we are grateful for however many weeks you are able to provide, we'd rather have 8 or 9 weeks of fresh winter veggies than none at all! So we hope you will continue offering winter shares in spite of all the challenges. And also to let you know, since you commented on this in a previous entry, I do read the blog every week even though I don't comment often. Since we pick up on Saturdays it is very helpful to know what veggies to expect that week since I often do our grocery shopping beforehand.


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