We are reaching the true end of winter! The storage crops are dwindling and the spring greens are just beginning to establish themselves. This time of year is always a time of reflection, sharing gratitude for the crops that have lasted the longest months of winter to nourish us during this starving time. This is also a time for bracing ourselves, preparing for the rush of spring greens and the business of summer. Eating seasonally means we nourish ourselves based on what’s available. We are in a moment where culinary creativity serves us best. We figure out how to eat yet another potato and toss some beets in a new recipe. We try new vinaigrette to dress up the sweet Siberian Kale. We are so grateful you all have joined us in this unique time of year and are continuing to promise yourselves to local food. It means the world to us and keeps the farm flowing, no matter the circumstances.
As the winter veggies age, they begin to go through some changes. All of these changes are totally edible and are even tastier than fresh harvested food. Read the notes below for advice on winter food.
Notes the veggies this month:
The kale has had a long productive winter and it is wanting to go to seed. We are now harvesting the whole plant including the center flower which is quite delectable and can be chopped up and eaten raw or cooked. The stem is also quite tasty just like a broccoli stem.
Purple Viking Potatoes:
Over the course of the winter, these potatoes have converted their starches to sugars. They have grown sprouts and gone a little bit squishy. This is all part of the normal potato life cycle. In order to make your potatoes last the longest, you will need to store them in the refrigerator. This will keep them from sprouting or turning too soft. The squishiness of your potatoes is completely normal. Many conventional farms will spray their potatoes to keep the firm through the course of the winter. If your potato begins to sprout, do not eat the sprouts! And if the skin is green, do not eat the green skin. These both contain neurotoxins. Just knock the sprouts off, and cut off the green skin and the potato will be totally edible. Our Chef loves the April storage potatoes. He says they are creamier and sweeter than they were back in October.
These are the last of our storage beets this season! Check out our beet recipe blog for inspiration as you enjoy the final beets of 2019. For lunch yesterday, the Chef made a kale and beet slaw by shredding the beets and finely chopping the kale and tossing them together in a tasty dressing.
Tetsu Kabuto Winter Squash:
These squash should be incredibly sweet at this point and highly recommended roasted. It will definitely last a little while longer in a cool dark place if you don’t get to it right away. It is important that if you get a winter squash that is bitter in flavor, not to eat it. Occasionally winter squashes go bitter and it is a chemical that will give you digestive distress. Give it one bite first before adding into an entire meal getting it anyway. If you get a bitter squash we are happy to replace it. The likelihood is quite low, however we don’t want you to have any digestive distress.
Everyone either got a sweet potato OR an extra onion in their share. This is the end of our sweet potato crop for 2019! We’ll be planting two more hoop houses of sweet potatoes for next season.
Notes on the meat share:
This month, everyone with a meat share will receive a pint of lard. Our Chef spent the last week rendering GALLONS of lard and we’re sharing just a bit of our yield with you. Lard is an amazing animal fat to cook with. You can use it as a typical cooking oil to saute veggies in, or you can use it in baking projects. Our lard makes a mean batch of biscuits or tortillas. Our farm staff use it in pretty much everything 🙂
Pickup Locations for April 2nd ON FARM PICKUP (SATURDAYS) 11:00AM-3:00PMSaturday pickup at our Farm Store. 71290 Holmes Rd, Sisters OR 97759.
You can also pickup your share this Thursday, April 2nd at the store anytime between 1:00 and 3:00pm.
SISTERS 2:30-2:40PM – We’ll be outside Melvin’s Market, across the street.
REDMOND 3:30-3:40PM – We’ll be parked at the Centennial Park downtown.
BEND 4:30-5:30PM – We will be at the Deschutes Main Services Building north parking lot at 1300 NW Wall Street.
2020 PICKUP DATES LEFT
April 2nd, May 7th
**In the wake of COVID-19, we will be bringing a hand washing station to our delivery this month. We require everyone to wash their hands before touching their share. Pickup might take a little longer than usual as we wait for everyone to wash their hands and load their bags. This way we can keep the crates and all the food headed back to the farm safe. We will be bleaching all of our crates before pickup to keep you and your food safe. Our farm crew will be washing their hands and keeping everything very clean while packing boxes.
Winter eating and spring sun,
Rainshadow Organics Crew