The potato rolls are rising, the wood stove is burning and I spent all day yesterday shoveling out the farm...I guess winter has come!!!
We have been on several snowshoes already around the farm. Having a nice snow cover on all the crops and fields makes me happy. It's been a few years since we have had a white December and although it means more snow removal, it also means the fields are completely in rest and in no danger of soil erosion from winter rains.
We get as many of the fields as we can covered in a green manure or cover crop before it gets too cold for seeds to germinate. The cover crops protect the soil from not only washing away but also keeps the soil structure intact (which keeps all the underground critters and microorganisms happy) and it holds as many nutrients in the field as possible until spring. Here is Simon, before the snow, checking out our Forage Radish cover. It is basically a daikon radish, which, if you have ever seen one, can be up near 18" long! The root sinks itself into the soil, breaking up any compaction. Over winter the roots freeze, thaw and rot away leaving "pockets" where water and nutrients are kept safely until drier weather. In the spring, we will til this in, releasing the nutrients into the soil where newly transplanted strawberry plants will take them up into their roots. That is IF the spring cooperates and we can til and transplant on schedule!!!
Puffa is happy, at long last, his favorite watering hole has returned!
I went to an awesome 3-day farming conference in New Hampshire last week. It was attended by over 1500 other farmers from New England. When I first started attending this conference, over 10 years ago, the majority of the talks and attendees were about conventional farms. Now the number of Organic topics and participating farms seem almost dominant. It's pretty exciting to know that much of New England cares about its environment and human health!
Now that I am home, I am immersed in seed ordering and rereading notes I took both at the conference and made over the past growing season. It is a time of year where I feel rested and refreshed both physically and mentally and where I am both excited and anxious about the season to come. Some of this anxiety is built around worrying that I will not get enough clients to fill my shares next season. Although I have been selling out over the years and have even been fortunate to have a wait list, I sense that families are shying away from the CSA model. For whatever the reason (or maybe it's just in my head), I encourage you to think again about all the benefits from joining a CSA and ours especially....
*you are supporting 100% local
*you can't get fresher more flavorful food at this price
*you get to choose the veggies each week
*you have easy access to other local products (meat, eggs, dairy ...)
*you have FREE access to a flower garden, pyo cherries and tomatilloes
*you get the best picking from Organic Strawberries and Raspberries at an awesome price
*we are flexible
*we love our customers!
It's a gift that keeps on giving--how can you pass?!
This Month's Bounty: carrot, beet, turnip, onion, potato, sweet potato, celeriac, cabbage, garlic, leek and winter squash
The Farmer's Table:
*home made roast beef sandwiches with pach choi and tomatoes
*beef enchiladas with roasted peppers and chimichurri
*stir fry with beef, carrots, kohl rabi and sweet potatoes
*sausage, sweet potato and kale soup
*veggie stock, chicken stock, beef stock