The fennel comes in two forms this week, tops and bulbs. The tops can be used like any other green, eaten fresh in salad or cooked and added to whatever dish you like. I've been liking it in tomato sauce, but it would also go well with the kale as part of a greens pie. The bulb works similarly to the tops, only with more intense flavor. It's commonly sliced thinly and eaten on salad. I like to braise chunks until it is extremely soft at which point it's usually very sweet and has lost most of the anise flavor.
The oregano can be used fresh, or dried by hanging for later use. The parsley is the same, and it's a very flavorful variety called Einfache Schnitt 3. I've mostly been chopping it up and sautéing it in olive oil as the first step to making a sauce for pasta, or whatever.
The peppers are ripening slowly and won't last long once the cold really sets in. They are still very sweet, even green. I'm hoping the sun will help ripen a few more before they go away completely. Lettuce is also in its last days. Once the frosts really set in we'll switch over to chicories, which just get better with cold. The kale also gets better with cold and it's starting to really sweeten up.
We've been busy in the field the last two weeks, dodging the rain and getting a few acres of cover crop seeded. This afternoon we also started planting overwintering onions, garlic and favas in the new fields. It's very exciting to be moving over to the big field which has a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, and a brand new packing shed on the edge. We'll also have two hoop houses to start planting in so look for greens and roots coming out of those in the early spring.