Winter Week 9: I Dreamed of Rapini

We usually put in a big planting of all the different kales in early fall. We harvest the leaves through the winter, but the sweetest reward comes in the spring, when we have lots of these delicious broccolini to pick.


• Lots of  Winter Squash
• Topless “Nelson” Carrots
• Topless “Yellowstone” Carrots
• Several Varieties of Potatoes
• Cabbages
• Leeks
• Kohlrabi

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


Last night, I dreamed of Rapini.

I went to bed on the cusp of our third freezing spell of the winter. But in my dream it was sunny, bright, and warm. That spring kind of warm where a chill lingers in the shadows, but in the sunny spots your body wants to melt because it feels so good. There were fat robins singing and hopping. And hints of green everywhere. The trees were budding, the weeds were sprouting, and the brassicas were…shooting.

The rows of cabbage plants that looked so miserable and dissolved all winter from being repeatedly frozen and rained-on were renewed. From their slimy hearts emerged fat, green, juicy flower stalks. They acted just as designed, so that they could come back to life and reproduce when conditions favored pollination and seed-setting.

I inhaled the sweet, buzzing, springtime air and the beautiful, fat, green, juicy stems were calling to me—as they do. Like Alice’s little pill—”EAT ME”. They whispered, “Pick me and take me home to your frying pan. To your pizza crust. Take me!” So I did! Because on the farm, the farmers get the first harvest.

I was there, alone, with the mumbling plants.

I pinched off their juicy stems. I heard them snap, I felt the sprinkly spray of sap. I tasted the end of the sweet stems of Cabbage Rapini. And then the dogs were barking and I woke up.


Spring WILL be here. We are so looking forward to a productive season. We have an abundance of crops that will overwinter for a solid spring harvest. So many brassicas—cabbages, brussels sprouts, kales. Onions and garlic that were left behind. Turnips.  All of those crops whose tops died back with frost will return with the warming days and increasing day lengths of spring. Even though they seem dead now, the will be resurrected with abundance. It’s just a few short months away.

And here, I am going to put our commitment in writing—on the internet, where it will live and grow, and become reality. This will be the year we buy our farm. Not only our current farm property, which we have leased for 15 years, but also the property next door. T&M Berries, where we have leased several acres for two years now, and where I got my farming start. We have big plans, and we have every intention of making them real.

2015 is going to be a very special year, and we have all of you to thank for it. We wish you all a quiet, productive winter, building strong roots with which to push up those growing shoots in spring and set seed for new projects and big dreams!

April Fools' Day, and the ladybugs are out, looking for nectar to feed on until they mate and lay eggs. The arugula is blooming.

One response to “Winter Week 9: I Dreamed of Rapini

  1. OOOH–the squashes!! and then that beautiful e-mail, you`.re quite a writer! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!. \I`m going to send the rest of my fees tomorrow!!

    Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 02:40:11 +0000 To:

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