Tag Archives: winter crops

Winter Week 2—Treviso and Tender Turnips

Japanese Turnips, also called "Tokyo Market" or "Hakurei", are tender, sweet, and delicious. They're even better when the weather turns chilly!

Japanese Turnips, also called “Tokyo Market” or “Hakurei”, are tender, sweet, and delicious. They’re even better when the weather turns chilly!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Purple Viking” Potatoes
• Candy Carrots
• Red Beets
• “Delicata” Winter Squash
“Treviso” Radicchio
• Baby Turnips with Greens (use raw, or steam or sauté lightly, and use the greens in salad)
• Arugula

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

COMING SOON: Pie Pumpkins, Baby Bok Choy, Celery, Parsnips

I think it’s very difficult to be happy about everything in a growing season. There are always mistakes made, and variables that cause mishaps. But this year I am very happy about a few things:

Our only carrot pest, the Carrot Rust Fly, lays eggs in the soil when the carrot plants are young, and the larvae dig into the ground and tunnel into the sweet, tasty carrots. This is what they look like. It's a shame to throw away all the carrots with tunnels, so we just cut around them. They don't affect the carrots' flavor, but they are unsightly. We make our bunches just a bit bigger to make up for the damage.

Our only carrot pest, the Carrot Rust Fly, lays eggs in the soil when the carrot plants are young, and the larvae dig into the ground and tunnel into the sweet, tasty carrots. This is what they look like. It’s a shame to throw away all the carrots with tunnels, so we just cut around them. They don’t affect the carrots’ flavor, but they are unsightly. We make our bunches just a bit bigger to make up for the damage.

1. We have a beautiful, big patch of carrots. In fact, we have so many carrots that we believe we can include them in the CSA shares every week this winter! We know how good they are, and how much everyone loves them. Therefore, we hope all of YOU will be happy as well!

2. We finally timed our radicchio planting so that we have beautiful firm heads in time for winter. It’s been trial and error for several years, but we’ve done it this time. Check out the chicory page for information on how to use this bitter green.

"Purple Viking" are a delicious heirloom potato. The skin is swirled in purple and pink, and the flesh is snow white. I find they're great for anything except mashing, and I love turning them into a bubbly gratin.

“Purple Viking” are a delicious heirloom potato. The skin is swirled in purple and pink, and the flesh is snow white. I find they’re great for anything except mashing, and I love turning them into a bubbly gratin.

3. “Purple Vikings”. My favorite potato, not only for its beauty, but for it’s flavor.

Tasty, golden "Delicata" Squash, also known as "Sweet Potato" or "Peanut" Squash. Mmmm.

Tasty, golden “Delicata” Squash, also known as “Sweet Potato” or “Peanut” Squash. Mmmm.

We have abundant squashes, beets (more recipes coming all the time!), and the tender greens are just about ready to harvest.

Thanksgiving week is coming, and there is always confusion about the “double pick-up option”. Here’s how it works: If you have weekday pickup (Tuesday or Wednesday) you will pick up each week, just as usual. If you pick up on Saturday or Sunday, at the farm or at a market, you will only pick up the weekend before Thanksgiving.

This accommodates people who either aren’t cooking because they’re out of town, as well as people who are cooking for a crowd. It also allows for all of US to enjoy our holiday without having to be out in the field harvesting on Thursday for the weekend.

If you want to switch your pick up day, one way or another, PLEASE let us know ahead of time so we have the right amount of everything on each day.

Oh, one more:

4. I’m really happy we decided to start homeschooling both kids this year. It’s an adventure I look forward to writing about more in the coming weeks.

Winter Week 1—Season of Roots and Leaves

Three of the big boys, being machos.

Three of the big boys, being machos.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Sangre” Potatoes
• Candy Carrots
“Three-Root Grex” Beets
“Buttercup” Winter Squash
Kohlrabi
Collard Greens
• Italian Parsley

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

COMING SOON: Arugula, Pie Pumpkins, Baby Turnips

Kohlrabi are the alien spaceships of the vegetable world.

Kohlrabi are the alien spaceships of the vegetable world.

Summer is clearly past. We’ve had our first, albeit very late, frost. Day after day of thick fog that burns off just in time for darkness to fall. And lots of roots and leaves to eat. It’s been a mild fall so far, and I was surprised to see the bees busy and about as October came to an end—not even 50° outside and they are still hard at work.

These bees are amazing. Late October, and the girls are all out bringing in groceries from somewhere. Is anything even blooming?

These bees are amazing. Late October, and the girls are all out bringing in groceries from somewhere. Is anything even blooming?

Welcome to the first harvest of our Winter season. Really, we should call it the Fall season, and we’re working on that for next year. But this year we’re still calling it winter. Things are a bit hearty this week, but there are tender greens and baby turnips on the quickening horizon.

You should be able to find clues to all the vegetables you don’t usually eat by following the links in the menu list above. Kohlrabi is a strange one for most people, but beets, collard greens, and squash are easy enough to use with a little hint or two. If you have any suggestions please post them in the comments or email me and I’ll include them on their respective pages. “Buttercup” squash is one of my favorites—they’re terrific for soups, pies, pancakes, and they make a tasty purée. Sweet, but not sugary sweet, and richly-flavored and dense. They can also be peeled with a vegetable peeler and cut into cubes, then roasted with garlic and olive oil.

I apologize for the late notice regarding Wednesday farm pickup. We just realized this weekend that we have an very large delivery roster. It became clear that we couldn’t possibly do all the harvest for the delivery and farm pick up in one day, especially if we have a frosty or very rainy Monday.

Most of the vegetables are outside, where they are the most delicious, and frost makes them even more so. However, if it’s frozen, we can’t pick anything until everything thaws out. Heavy rainfall makes for a lot of mud, which makes picking very slow, which takes more time. We don’t want to be perpetually behind our pickup and delivery deadlines, so we split it into two days. Farm pickup is on Wednesday for the winter, and delivery on Tuesday.

Countdown to Thanksgiving.

Countdown to Thanksgiving.

Summer Week 19—Voting, and a Poll

Lea is so happy about her pumpkin!

Bella is so happy about her pumpkin!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU: • “Red Giant” or “Green Wave” Mustard Greens • Pea Shoots • Arugula • “Sangre” Potatoes • Carrots •  Beets • “Ambercup” Squash

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

COMING SOON: Parsley, Pac Choi, Mizuna

This is the last week that the U-pick pumpkin patch will be open for our CSA families. Please come on our usual pickup times on Tuesday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. If you need to make arrangements, please let us know ahead of time. Limit of 2 pumpkins per family, or 1 per child.

Our winter squash patch next door was hit by frost, but it didn't make it to our side of the fence.

Our winter squash patch next door was hit by frost, but it didn’t make it to our side of the fence.

It seems strange to be titling this post “Summer”, when clearly it is no longer summer. fall is in full swing, and the weather has been good for our winter crops. Not much sun, but mild temperatures, no rain, and still no frost!

In my old age, I have become passionate about certain political issues. This year I feel very strongly about I-522, Washington’s GMO food labeling initiative. It is not perfect, but it is a good start on mandatory labeling, and hopefully will create more awareness off the prevalence of GMO ingredients in our food system. at this time, if you eat anything containing soy, corn, sugar, or canola, and you didn’t buy organic or specifically labeled GMO-free, you can assume that contains genetically modified versions of those crops. There are also GMO rice, wheat, zucchini, bananas, papaya, and many more, but how are we know if we are eating them? I encourage you to vote yes on 522. You have noticed by now that Winter, or Hard Squashes are now in season. This week’s selection is “Ambercup”. It is a dense, rich, sweet squash that is great for baking, roasting, soup, or making into pie, muffins, etc.

Come and get your pumpkins! One of the perks included in our CSA program.

Come and get your pumpkins! One of the perks included in our CSA program.

This is the last week to pick up pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. After all, Halloween is next week. Al so, next week marks the end of our “summer” season. I will be sending out confirmation emails to everyone who is signed up for Winter already, but if you want to join us and haven’t yet signed up let us know ASAP.

Della is starting a CSA of her baked goods. She does a delicious job, and if you act now, she'll add on a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

Della is starting a CSA of her baked goods. She does a delicious job, and if you act now, she’ll add on a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

Della is working on a baking venture, in the spirit of a CSA model. She’s an excellent baker, and if you join her as a flagship member, she will add on a delicious pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, made from our own Winter Luxury Pie pumpkins!

A delicious way to enjoy our abundance of roots this year! Roasted!

A delicious way to enjoy our abundance of roots this year! Roasted!

It’s hard to believe, but our Winter Season starts in just 2 weeks! I’ve got the application form updated, and you can find it here: Winter CSA 2013