Winter on the Farm

Bobcat in Winter Apricots

In many places winter is usually the off-season when it comes to farming.  The weather cold and inhospitable, with too little daylight to consider growing crops.  In contrast, our Farm is located in a coastal region with a temperate climate that allows us to grow certain crops year-round.  Winter’s pace is slow, though, and it’s primarily a time of rest, recuperation, and rejuvanation on the Farm – the ebb to summertime’s flow.

Sprouting Cover Crop

As part of our farming practices, we plant many of our fields with cover crops over-winter to recharge them for our next main growing season. Because of this practice we grow less produce in winter, and variety in our CSA Shares is reduced slightly, yet as a reward the cold winter weather causes plants to grow slowly which concentrates and intensifies flavors, creating unique profiles that can change from week to week, and are very different from summer veggies, or out-of-season, imported ones.

Rows of Frosty Cauliflower

Winter crops we grow consist mostly of hardy brassicas (mustard family) like cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, and various cabbages, and greens like kale, collards, and chard.

Hoop tunnels protect delicate seedlings from winter frosts and rains.

More delicate greens (lettuces, arugula, mizuna) and root crops like carrots, radishes, beets, turnips, daikon, celeraic, and potatoes are also typical, along with celery, fennel, and alums like leeks, “spring” onions, and green garlic. Delicata, butternut, and kabocha squash harvested and stored at the end of summer also go in winter Shares, and are a favorite for soups, stews, or simply roasting.

Winter rains make the field rows a muddy mess.

Stakes and posts at rest until summer tomatoes have need of their support.

Too cold and wet for berries and tomatoes, winter fruit on the Farm are Bearss limes, Meyer lemons, pineapple guavas, and stored apples.  These and an occasional preserve item from the Farm’s summer bounty provide a taste of fruit in our Shares during winter.

Newly planted bare root raspberry canes and …

… baby strawberry plants are in place, ready for winter rains to get them established.

Participating in our CSA program during the winter keeps members in touch with the Farm and receiving fresh, locally grown veggies during a period when many other farms are on hiatus.

Become a CSA Member  About our CSA About our Choice Shares

Community Supported Agriculture, whether receiving a Share or supporting our Farm at the local Farmers Markets we attend, is the best way to ensure a farm like ours continues to thrive and provide a sustainable place for natural, organic diversity.

Winter thistle decorate a farm fence.

This oak root fungus is a unique winter blossom.

Unharvested apples feed over-wintering song birds.

Pungent Coyote Bush blooms in early winter.

Ponds on the Farm fill with winter rain, saving water for summer wildlife.