Hello winter CSA members,
Wonderful to see you all yesterday. Thank you for making it to the drops on time and hauling home the deepest winter goods. Storing food and raising food in the winter is a real trick, and the CSA becomes a true adventure. Sometimes in variety, but more often in salvage.
We’ve had trouble with storage of the elephant garlic, for instance. I was not sure whether to bring it or not. There is so much good on the cloves with a little pruning. I’ve been loving cooking with it myself. Do you think you can make it work? If it came from the store after complex storage, either conventional or organic, with gasses and chemicals, it would likely look perfect. And imperfections chucked. Is it better to give everything I have and let you decide what you can eat? Or cull and let the pigs enjoy it? At least nothing goes to waste on the farm.
All things, carrots, onions, squash… that are holding tight in the cellar want to succumb to the earth and the first step is the molding of weak spots. I spend hours each month culling and washing and sorting, again and again as the attrition occurs. We whittle down the veggies and eat them here at the farm.
Then we have the greenhouses full of hardy kale and asian greens that freeze solid in the ground and we saw them off at the base. Tackle these first! As they thaw, lets just call them pre-cooked. They probably aren’t good raw, but I bet they are excellent in a stir fry or soup. One CSA member just puts anything veggie or meat or bone that she isn’t eating or doesn’t look awesome, into a freezer container that she turns into stock later. There is certainly nutrient value in all of it.
Its good to remember a couple things.
1. You’re a very special person, committed to eating food that comes from where you live. And when the skiing is incredible and the temps hover for a week or more between 12 and -10, and it snows every other day…. that your food might need a little extra love.
2. In the case of the CSA, the value is in the average over the seven months. Next month we’ll be planting fresh greens and radishes and peas and other baby tender things that let you know spring is on its way.
3. The uglier the food, the more nutrient dense it is. Especially in the case of greens. If they take on the deep cold like a boss, they will use every sugar in their artillery. If you have to plug your nose and take it like medicine, you should. But I bet if you cut it up and throw it in whatever you are simmering or blending, you’ll find it to be tasty.
Getting fresh, whole grains in your diet is awesome and easy!
Use those wheat berries like rice. They take longer to cook, but get them simmering like you would a dry bean and put your dinner on a bed of them. You can also drop a cup of them in any crock pot.
If you’re gluten free, you can sprout them into wheat grass in just a week and juice away. Zero gluten in wheat grass.
I make a lot of sourdough bread, but biscuits and scones are a great quick option. On a typical morning, after my stretches…. I heat the oven to 350. I put 2 cups of flour in a bowl with a teaspoon of salt, two and a half teaspoons of baking powder, and a stick of butter (cold, cut into slices). I cut my butter in with a pastry cutter for 2 minutes. Then I fold in 3/4 cup of milk… shape the dough into a one inch thick, round and cut it like a pie. transfer to cookie sheet and cook for 12 minutes. vioala. Warm, yummy biscuits ready by the time you’ve cracked your egg next to your sizzling ham steak. Almost as easy as instant oatmeal. Also great as a snack later in the day.
Thank you all so much for your commitment to this farm and the food that it produces. I love love love tending to it, no matter the cold, and delivering it to you. I hope you can find value in all of it. I wish I could just replace anything that isn’t perfect, but I’ve given you all I’ve got. Next month I’ll try to bring some extra veggies so if you feel like you got shorted, you can grab some. I want to make sure you are all happy. And despite my best sorting efforts, I may have missed something funky.
All the best to you all! Thanks again and see you next month!