Winter Season – week 1 is come!

This is the first week of winter season – with all that entails. The good news is that the weather has been about as good as it can be for the winter season. In theory there should be an “and the bad news” comment – but the best (worst?) that can be said is that the birds, mice, voles, rabbits and moles are all doing their level best to get your veggies. So – everything that can be covered is covered, every trap that can be set is set, and there are veggies for you this week.

look at all those happy radishes! (and a turnip on the right)

Happy radishes – although a rabbit tried to make a nest in amongst them while totally eating all the baby beets!

The first few weeks have smaller sizes of the winter greens – which means you will get multiple heads of lettuce, for example. The over-wintered root crops will be a bit beat up on the tops – the rabbit grazed off the tops of the carrots, for example. But they make up for it with flavor. Overwintered root crops are very sweet – once the weather gets around say 55F for days and new crops start coming the over-wintered will lose their sweetness – but this first few weeks will be stellar.

Lettuce, Peas, Cabbage, Bok Choi… despite the Quail!

The nice looking lettuce in the front of the picture has some neighbors that were assaulted by the rampaging quail. Fortunately there are four beds with lettuce because, well, this sort of thing happens. The Celery was also attacked by some rodent – a new trap and barrier are set up now. There are plenty of Celery leaves on some rather tough stalks, so if you are a celery leaf lover (there is probably a good term for that) you are in luck.

The other over-wintered (outside) crops that might strike your fancy are some beets, parsnips and a few extremely abused cabbage. Ugly cabbage still eats good, but it is ugly. Since this is farm call, you have the chance to say something polite about it and excuse yourself from getting some. Or take it home and chop it up. The Beets should be crisp and taste fine – there is a bit of a risk that they are getting woody inside. The one that was cut up for rodent bait seemed fine.

So here’s the ‘in the box’ options:

Lettuce Three varieties: Winter Density and Cegolaine look best this week. Newham is still coming along.
Brassicas Over-wintered cabbage (very ugly) and nice young Bok Choi.
Roots  Salad (Japanese small white) Turnips, three different types of radishes, over wintered Parsnip, Beets and Carrots
Greens itty bitty Arugula, mustard is out there a few weeks. Kale (is Kale a Brassica?) is available.
Herbs Chives are going great. The rest of the herbs are still pretty small – next two will be basil and Cilantro; others as they come along. Outdoor parsley is sorely abused and waiting for this winter stuff to be done and gone.
Misc  If something comes around, this is where it will be. Chard is about 3″ tall, and waiting for space in the bok choi bed…

Nominally farm call is between 10 and 2; in general there will be someone in the garden or greenhouse. There are a LOT of seeds to start right now, since this is officially 8 weeks before last frost. Tray after tray after tray…

10 trays of flower seeds, and one with snap peas sprouting

So – The first week! Thanks for being in the winter season CSA!

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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