Heading to the greenhouses today to harvest the February CSA, I was anxious about what I might find. We’ve had two full months of deep winter in Central Oregon with over four feet of snow and persistent negative temperatures. Seemed like -15 was losing its edge and becoming normal. Some say we haven’t had a winter like this in a quarter century. I certainly can’t remember a winter like this, nor have I seen vegetables survive conditions like this with nothing but a plastic cover. No heat of any kind.
It took a little over an hour to dig the greenhouses out of the snow. Inside, the Siberian Kale and Asian Greens blew me away. Their quiet, slow, tenacity was palpable. I am honored to cultivate and steward these plants, to be in their presence on these cold winter days is an inspiration. The meditation of carefully harvesting and tending to each plant grounds anything in me that might be frenetic.
I am incredibly grateful to share this food with my community, especially my stalwart winter CSA members. Winter food almost always has some aesthetic challenge. It might even be heavily eaten by the voles that take refuge in our greenhouses. Maybe it has yellow tips or holes. But when we are committed to this as our food here in Central Oregon, we trim it up and devour the sweetest, most nutrient dense food. It fills us with gratitude.