THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Elba” Potatoes
• “Heart of Gold” Winter Squash
• “Copra” Yellow Onions
• “Osaka Purple” Mustard Greens
• Swiss Chard
Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.
Our days are continuing to get shorter. We’re down to about 9 hours of real daylight—compare that to the 15 hours of daylight we have in June. It’s really a profound change, and it’s one that the plants and animals notice, as well as the humble humans.
The plants are actually not growing anymore. They need about 10 hours of daylight to produce significant photosynthesis and, therefore, growth. But we keep picking them, robbing them of their leaves and they are slowly picked down to stubs. Just a few weeks to go until they can be left alone until spring brings longer days and lures growth to return.
All of our winter crops are really about inventory—how much we planted in the waning summer, and how much is remaining in the ground. How much is damaged by pests or a runaway pig, or hungry coyotes that dig carrots and beets out of the ground. Aside from the squash, onions, and garlic, everything else that we include in our Winter CSA Season is outside, in the wet ground. It tastes better that way, as freezing temperatures turn the starches in the plant parts into sugars that resist freezing. Better to survive the winter with, survival is all about getting those flowering parts to the kinder weather of spring.
Better for those who eat them, I say. Delicious.