Since the CSA has been on hiatus these past 4 weeks, the farm has been operating at a much more mellow pace. Many of our workers take a break during this time, which offers a nice and well deserved rest from the hustle and bustle of the Regular Season. Although the pace is slower, believe me – there’s always something to do.
During these winter months we have far fewer crops to tend to, and less attention needs to be spent irrigating them (thanks to the rain). Vegetables also grow very slowly this time of year – a combination of cold temperatures and a decreased length in daylight. With the last few weeks of particularly chilly mornings, we have been working hard to protect the tender greens (particularly small lettuce transplants) from the harsh kiss of frost by covering the plantings with a large “field blanket” we call remay. We have also been focusing our energy on harvesting for farmers’ markets, fulfilling wholesale restaurant orders, weeding winter/early spring field crops, getting busy in the greenhouse sowing spring seedlings, and planting our strawberry fields for the coming 2013 season.
During this CSA box delivery break, we experienced A LOT of rain here on the farm. I have never seen the rivers on the farm so swollen with water. They were even overflowing in many places over the farm’s dirt roads, including the site of the 2012 u-pick dry farmed tomato fields (see picture below). Thankfully, much of the farm is in cover crop right now, so few vegetable crops were affected by the flooding. I will say that this winter – what we would call a cold and wet one – is a nice contrast to last year’s warm and dry winter. The earth needs rain, and we have certainly gotten our fair share this year and for that we can be grateful. Perhaps we may even get more?
The winter break is always an appreciated relief from the non-stop action consuming the rest of the year, but I must admit it’s good to be back in the swing of things and I am glad the CSA is staring up again this week. Not to mention you all must be missing your vegetables! This week you can look forward to beautiful brussels sprouts (they are one of our best crops yet!), sweet bunched baby carrots, Butternut winter squash, a special jar of preserved tomatoes brought to you by Happy Girl Kitchen, and bunched kale (of which I can’t get enough of these days). You can look forward to a new succession of beets coming on in the next couple weeks, as well as hearty rainbow chard, heads of lettuce and broccolini. Have a great week and enjoy the winter bounty!