2014 Winter Basket # 1

 Basket Contents: Acorn squash, parsley, choice of kale or Swiss chard, mesclun, carrots, celeriac, leeks, red onions, burbank russet potatoes, rutabaga, choice of cabbage or Chinese cabbage, Brussel sprouts, celery, green pepper, choice of red peppers or tomatoes

Recipes of the week:

Pasta with Brussel sprout, mushroom and cheese sauce

 Sweet and sour Brussel sprouts with leeks

Welcome to the fall! Here at the farm we love the fall season, which for us marks some major changes to our work. We have just finished a major push to finish harvesting the last of the fall crops. Leeks, parsnips, and carrots were the last big storage crops to come in last week, and it will be very satisfying to till the field this week, laying it to rest and starting already to prepare it for next year’s growing season. Animal production, too is winding down, and we’ve been excited to offer our first meat shares this month. So for most of us, the fall means a major lightening of our work loads, always a welcome change after a busy growing season.

Thank you to all our partners who filled in our end-of-season survey, I’ve already started going through the lists of veggies you want more or less of as I begin once again to plan the basket contents for next year. It is a quick turn around, this ending of one season, and beginning of another, which so clearly highlights the cyclical nature of not just this work, but Nature and all of us too, drawn into her rhythms.

For these fall baskets, I’m going to make a special effort to include information about the varieties of some of the crops you’ll receive on a pretty regular basis. We want to encourage you to recognize and appreciate the differences, albeit at times subtle and therefore be able to make the best use of your vegetables! So here’s a few notes about what you’ll be receiving this week:

Carrots- var. Napoli. Napoli is a Nantes-type of carrot, it is specialized in cold weather production, and gets especially sweet after the frosts. Last week we sowed Napoli seeds in our unheated greenhouse for our first spring basket in June…

Onions- var. Red Wing. This is our favorite red onion, and has become the only one we grow! It is a somewhat slow-grower, but produces a tasty, hard onion that stores very well and is easy to peel.

Potatoes- var. Burbank Russet. This Idaho potato is the most widely grown potato in the US, due to its long-term storage ability, high yields and beautiful, flaky texture. It is perfect for baked potatoes, and also good for fries and hash browns.