The advent of winterish weather means a transition into root crops. We have been holding back on providing carrots, beets, turnips, and rutabagas until now. As farmers, we watch the weather more intently than a dog watches its favorite chew toy. When the long term outlook suggested a strong, consistent cold snap this October and November, we made plans to survive til Mid December. Now is the time to begin engaging those plans.
We will try to keep the boxes on the larger side for the next couple of weeks, but the size will drop a bit once the daytime highs are consistently in the upper 30’s. You cannot harvest a frozen vegetable until it thaws out fully. This limits our daytime ability to get things out of the fields. Most of the late shares will come from crops harvested and left dirty in the cooler, then washed and prepared as needed for your shares. The shortened day lengths and harvest moratoriums will force down share sizes in the next 2-4 weeks. Our plan will be to give more of each item that is in the shares, but scale back on the number of items per week.
What can you expect in shares from here to thanksgiving? The tastiest produce of the year, for one. Vegetables grown in cold conditions do not take in as much water, and do not grow as rapidly, making their flavor outstanding. This is especially true with carrots, spinach, and other roots. Speaking of carrots, we hope to have enough for most of the remaining weeks of this season. Spinach will start next week, and thanks to its own internal anti-freeze, should last for a few weeks. Our tunnels are planted with bok choy, beets, and lettuce, and should begin in a week or two.
Beyond this, we have vast amounts of other crops yet in the field. Frosts and freezes have damaged our large broccoli crop a bit more than expected, so that may be in short supply. Cauliflower is limping along, especially the purple variety, so it should be on and off until it finally caves. We have more kohlrabi than we know what to do with, but we will limit how much we give in the shares, as the remains of the swap boxes have demonstrated that most of you have gotten enough. Cabbage will come back, coupled with onions, turnips, winter squash, potatoes, rutabagas, radishes, and, once cured, sweet potatoes, and much more.
This shift into colder weather will bring on changes in the box size and its contents. As seasonal eaters, I feel like members notice the biggest changes in what they are getting in their box at the end of the season. Your greens are sure to be the best tasting of the year and you will have plenty of grounding comfort foods to fill your pantry. We have done our best to prepare for the colder weather and it is our hope that we can keep you eating well, late into the year.