Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 1

Hello 2016 CSA. We are happy to see the harvest start on schedule with good spring fare for the first share. Each season has its own characteristics and we are ready to see what this year brings.

Two of the items in the share --carrots and potatoes-- are crops that we harvested last year and have stored in our cooler. If kept at the right temperature and humidity many vegetables can be stored for long periods of time. You need to create an environment that puts them into a comfortable state of dormancy.

This cold storage also changes the taste of the carrot, usually towards the sweeter side. This year we are planning on installing new refrigerated storage in the barn that will be used, in part, to store vegetables over the winter for spring-time enjoyment. Let us know what you think of our efforts so far.

The fresh veggies are coming on too, and a couple of the stars are also over-wintered. The spinach and gailan plants we are harvesting from were first planted last fall. They have been nurtured, watered, fertilized and protected in the high tunnel their whole life, and are reaching their spring peak right about now.

During the off-season we have been enjoying the gailan. We are working to learn as much as we can about the best ways to raise and harvest it. We will trial a few new varieties, and see what harvest methods produce the best growth. We love the flavor and texture---milder and tender than other sprouting broccoli's, like the Italian broccoli raab.

Gailan (Chinese broccoli)
It is exceptional raw, so we regularly make a salad. You can chop it and then add whatever you want. We suggest grated carrots, some salt and pepper, garlic chives, and your favorite dressing. Simple, tasty and nutritious.

Gailan and carrot salad
We also want to thank Spike, who has been doing construction work at the farm this month, for switching gears and fixing our tractor. We were losing gears just as we most needed the ol' Farmall 504. Luckily it was a worn out 50+ year old gearshift mechanism and not the transmission, and Spike used the shop to patch us up. 
Tractor repair with Spike

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