‘Tis Sweet To Keep Local

We harvested the last of the leeks yesterday along with some mighty fine sweet carrots. There is a hedge of carrot greens perking along under the floating row cover which may or may not mature into edible roots. They were to have been harvested by now but due to a variety of mishaps….time, grasshoppers, irrigation, drought, etc. we have one sweet bunch for everyone the final day! The leeks are the size of walking sticks! Next year we hope to increase the blanched portion of the leeks by modifying our transplanting methods. You may recall that these plants were seeded last February; that is a lot of love and care to get to this point so hope you enjoy them.

You may ask….just what do we plan on doing for the next 5 months. Oh my! We are researching, taking in conferences, studying, petitioning city council, studying, working on our business plan, building something, revamping the yard into a life-sustaining acreage and studying some more. We would like to address urban farming for Mountain Lake. Not sure how “urban” we are, but welcome the conversation with the town’s officials. Our interest is to make farming a viable option for residents of Mountain Lake and for us to have a closed-loop system that limits waste and reuses energy from the variety of agricultural products we have on our 20 acre farm. The system of transporting foodstuffs from across the continent and around the world has many environmental pitfalls. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to start making the lifestyle changes now and move into a new era with all the talent geared to making the world a more just place to live?

What does that mean specifically? For us, we need honey bees for the pollination of many crops. Pickling cucumbers took a hit due to the lack of pollinators. Next – some animals to complete the loop such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats maybe a cow? in the future. We aren’t talking about huge herds stampeding through the meadow. There are major chinks missing on a farm without animals. It would be terrific to have others at the meeting with city council on December 5, to show your support. Let us know and I can pass on the specific time when we are notified.

With cold weather comes idling cars. I would like to suggest that cars be turned off if they are to idle more than 10 seconds. Gas is based on a fossil fuel which is not being replenished. Idling side effects: zero miles to the gallon and asthma issues from air pollution are just two from a long list of negative consequences.

Our last harvest…do I hear bells and whoops of laughter? Remember to bring your market boxes to leave off and an extra container for carrying your produce back home. You should expect leeks, new carrots, squash, potatoes, onions, head lettuce, salad greens, Asian greens and cabbage. Remember to purchase your storage vegetables, onions, potatoes and squash, for the long winter ahead! I’ll have potatoes in 10# and 20# bags. One person ordered 100# – that’s the spirit! Storage veggies keep for 4 or more months in a cool dry place.

Fresh bread tasting for everyone including a gluten free variety!

And then there was brusselini!

Today we harvested the last of the outdoor produce: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and brusselini! These are all from the genus of brassicas in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) which does not mind cold shoulders or toes. Asian greens also belong in the brassicas….so no wonder we have introduced you to many of them! Other than their many health benefits, I have enjoyed the crisp flavor of each variety in all the new dishes that have been sampled in my kitchen.

For lunch, we had sautéed brusselini which up until 24 hours ago, I did not know it existed as a separate food item. Gullible is my middle name at times. Have you guessed? Or maybe you know all about it. It has a delicate flavor so I harvested it for your market boxes. Give up? Brusselini is the top knot of a Brussels sprout plant, the last bit of leaves. What fun!

Nathan is having a hullabaloo fermenting everything he can get his hands on. We now have 5 gallons of garlic beer perking along for the winter. NO, we will not have a Spring beer share! Garlic beer is to be trialled as an insect inhibitor on fruit trees. We have potato cheese made with kefir, yogurt cheese, millet juice of some sort, fermented salsa, fermented pac choi, and three more bowls of something. He is sprouting wheat and barley berries to dry in order to make something else. He does a good job of cleaning up after his endeavors so I have no complaints.

I have posted the 2012 registration form. There are many new items to ponder…Spring shares! Last year we had plenty to start sharing in May but had to wait till June. It would be fun to have some fellow accomplices for the adventure. I could explain woodland greens but that would give it all away. Please note that there is an incentive planned in for timely payments. We hope to plant according to what is requested instead of wild guessing being our modus operandi. There is also another incentive if a friend of yours registers for a half or full CSA share.

I am partnering with Sweet Fields, the new bakery and coffee shop in town, to provide an artisan bread share. You will get a varied selection over the weeks being delivered for your harvest share pick up. Each season, will have a separate bread share registration.

The harvest this week should include: brusselini, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, acorn squash, Asian greens, radishes, head lettuce, and a choice of either Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower.

Remember to place your bulk potato and onion orders in the next week. Hot vegetable soup is a terrific remedy for the long, cold winter months ahead of us. You might remember I also suggested giving them as presents!