March is a funny month for me. It is the transition month between the two gears in my life: "winter" and "farming". Years like this, March is a little easier becuase there is still so much snow on the ground. Meaning--the indoor to do list is still long, and I may have a chance to get to it since the outdoor to do list is still buried in snow. But I am definatly being pulled into spring--1000's of onion, lettuce, cabbage, kale and chard seeds have been sown at the greenhouse! No germination quite yet, but soon, very soon.
This is the month I start to really push my marketing....if you haven't signed up yet for 2011...I go to CSA fairs and Wellness fairs, post brochures, hang fliers...and basically talk my head off about why joining Little Ridge Farm CSA could possibly be the best decision you will make all year. Thank you to all of you talking heads as well! Word of mouth by far is the biggest and most successful advertiser.
I have decided to grow in number by about 15 shares this summer and increase the winter shares from 40 to 50 and raise the pigs by 2. Already I have 50 of the 75 summer shares I would like and have sold out on all the pigs and beef! It is hard for me to say no to people. I find myself thinking, okay maybe I should get more pigs or increase this, increase...It is good to know that demand is high, but I need to be sure I can keep the quality of my product and my life high as well. Small steps. Part of me wants to raise food for 125 shares, with 20 pigs and cows and turkeys and...but part of me likes the little family we have created thus far, small but healthy.
Just say "YES!" to spinach. Although I think I broke my back shoveling and didn't sleep as much due to wind/snow load worry, I think the hoophouse has been a success. I learned a few things this year and will try and improve for next. I hope you all have enjoyed the sweet little treats of green.
This week looks like it be a bit warmer and SUNNY on Thursday for pick up! The winter shares have been a lot of fun for me, I think a good decision to do this instead of the farmer's market. More my style.
In my kitchen during pick up March 17th.
Pat, a volunteer from UMaine Extension, will be making blueberry jam. Stop in to see how it is done, ask questions and receive paper print outs!
This months share: winter roots, the last of the winter sqash, fresh spinach and a surprise : )
Carnival Winter Squash:
This small colorful squash has a mellow flavor, similar to a sweet potato. You can stuff it, use it as a base for soups or mix it with butter as a side dish. The skin is hard, so you will want to bake it first before scooping out the meat.
Winter Root Vegetable Slaw Recipe
The choice of root vegetables here works well, but you are free to mix and match. Just be sure to not have too many sweet vegetables like carrots and parsnips, or too many sharp ones, like radishes or turnips.
· 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon sugar
· 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
· 1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
· 2/3 cup olive oil
· 2 large carrots (choose different colored carrots if you can find them)
· 2 medium parsnips
· 1 small celery root
· 2 black radishes or 1/2 daikon radish
1 Put the mustard, salt, sugar, vinegar and parsley in a blender and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender, cover and process at its slowest setting. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly. When it is all in, move the blender to its highest setting and puree for about 90 seconds.
2 Peel all the vegetables except for the radishes, if you are using black ones. The slivers of black in the salad look cool, so I leave them in. Using a vegetable peeler or a coarse grater, slice shreds off the vegetables into a bowl. Try to keep the shreds roughly the same length if you can.
3 To finish, toss some of the vinaigrette with the shredded vegetables and let stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.