February is an interesting time on the farm. We always plan to have a field of chicories that make it through some crazy temps and other hearty greens that are buffered by lots of root crops, leeks and potatoes to help get through March for CSA and our restaurant accounts. The reality is that this year, with all of the freezing weather and snow, on top of our massive gopher population, despite our efforts to cover and protect, we lost the majority of our chicory crop, a large amount of our root crops that we couldn't get out of the ground before the freezes and our kale just barely made it through. Though our kale is there, it is essentially just surviving and we have to leave a certain amount of leaves on the plants so that they can flower come March/April (think kale raab, brussels raab, cabbage raab...all the raabs!!) What we are coming to face is that for the next couple weeks we are pretty much left to potatoes, leeks and a turnip or two. It is never a fun to admit that you have failed at an aspect of your job, but as a farmer, you get very familiar with the act of humility. The only thing you can do is to observe what happened, learn from your mistakes and continue forward – next year we will be that much better on our farm.
One of the original concepts of CSA was that the subscriber takes part in the risk that farmers face every season, especially in winter, but really for every season in terms of crop failure, weather, pest and disease pressure and anything else that may go wrong. One of the things I so appreciate about our young farm, is that we are attempting to build up resiliency to the ebb and flow by having a market that aggregates from other farmers and producers as well as a kitchen that can preserve and save the bounty of the summer to use for the winter. The next couple of weeks are going to be tricky, but your farmers are getting creative and we think we figured something out that everyone will be happy with – more details on Friday!
POTATOES: Big surprise here! Yukon Golds for that awesome breakfast or tasty soup.
GOLDEN GLOBE TURNIP: Still just bossing it up out there – it is amazing to compare a bunch of different root crops, all of which should be able to withstand pretty nasty conditions, and to see who actually made it to the finish line.
LEEK (Large Only): Gorgeous Lexton leek!
PARSNIP (Large Only): Straight from our fields, these guys hung out and are perfect looking. They are beautiful, delicious and just smell so good.
ARUGULA (Large Only): Delicious, nutty and just a tad bit spicy. What a beautiful color to see at this time of year.
I don't know about you but I see a super delicious breakfast (maybe breakfast for dinner) happening here.