Hey Everyone! I'm sure you've all heard it enough by now, buuut...Happy 2015!! Have all of you CSA members already enjoyed the fruits of our first CSA harvest of the new year?! It's been a perfect week for being out harvesting winter veggies - a little cold and foggy in the morning, but then it all burns off and all of a sudden its 60 degrees and sunny and your sweating through your sweatshirt. The colder weather has definitely been sweetening things up a bit in the field too, like this Castelfranco chicory you see to the right.-->
As long as we don't get a hard freeze for an extended period, these beauties will continue to grow and push more and more sugars into their leaves making them more and more delightful (even though the bitterness is nice too). Though, lets hope the voles and gophers stay away/find our traps first, unfortunately we're not the only ones that know that winter means sweet, sweet chicory season. They looooove the roots and will seek them out over most anything else.
This weather has also been kind to my other winter project: building our next pair of hoop houses! I know it doesn't really look like much at this point, but 80 holes have been dug, 80 posts have been set, and today I finished bracing the bottoms of the posts with a bunch of 20' 2x6's and metal brackets. So, first thing next week I get to start putting up the hoops, end braces, and purlins. Then hopefully the week after that I'll be putting on the plastic and building the end walls. And, voila! two not-so-instant hoop houses! If the weather wasn't cooperating as well as it has been recently I probably wouldn't be enjoying this project as much. But, when I'm doing something that lets me continue to exercise my carpentry skills on my own, while also not requiring me to wear a tool belt, I'd be happy enough to deal with a little winter rain while I do it. Fortunately for me it's looking like I'm not going to have to! So onward and upward until hopefully late January/early February we'll be able to start filling them with little seedlings for spring harvest!
Til' next time,