We officially had the coldest night since I started doing the winter CSA 6 years ago. We were 8 degrees below zero last friday. I was pretty worried about what we would find in the greenhouses when we harvested yesterday, but I was pleasantly surprised. We have some beautiful kale and parsley for you. Only slightly damaged by the frost. We pared down the plants to a strong core and gave them a bunch of TLC before tucking back in under their blankies. Their resilience is absolutely incredible to me.
I have to say that the chard pretty much melted in the cold as did the lettuces. But the baby spicy greens are looking pretty solid for next month! We do not heat our greenhouses. They grow our greens passively. Each bed inside has thick row cover over it as well. We try not to even get in and disturb the plants for the entire month between harvests. We just let them grow slowly and rely on our faith that there will be food. And so far, even with this new low, there is food. Miraculous food.
Another little exciting thing you’ll find is a handful of SWEET POTATOES. The Central Oregon Unicorn! We’ve tried for three years to grow these babies and we finally got a pretty solid little crop, exclusively for the winter CSA.
And you’ll see my new favorite squash! The Black Futsu. It’s the nubbily, squatty, goldish/green one. It is oranger and sweeter than a delicata and you can eat the skin. I roast it in half moons with a little lard, salt and pepper. You are also getting an acorn-type squash, which can be classically roasted in half, or whatever you want to do with it 🙂
And the roots… You’ve got a selection of beets, carrots, onions, and potatoes. I’ve been amused by our chef’s daily comments about our limited winter ingredients. He’s peeling back the proverbial onion and deeply musing about these staples. I’ll keep you posted on his process through the blog and social media recipe posts. I love him for the way he challenges everything he’s known before in the kitchen.
I’ve personally been eating exclusively from this farm for 7 seasons now. I’ve tried to grow so many different things. I’ve been working on storage, planting timing, varietals, etc… And this box is really the staple box. The things that do the very best in deep winter. I am so grateful for their nourishment. I don’t find them repetitive at all. Instead, endlessly giving. Even my husband struggles with the same ingredients prepared different ways. He would love for me to pick up some specialty items from the store. But the more I learn about food and this world and our impact on it, I just can’t do it. I can’t trust anything from the store when I don’t know where it came from or how it was raised. I don’t want to be an accomplice to the things I find intolerable in this world. I don’t want the packaging… the social injustices… the environmental disasters. If that means eating another damn beet, bring it on. I love Central Oregon. I’m not going anywhere. I don’t live even three hours away in the valley where I see photos of other winter CSAs and the diversity they are still enjoying. Nope. This is home and this is the food.
I love you all for eating it with me