Spring Growth

Spring Growth

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter Ode to Outdoor Spinach

Hello all!
I hope that the holidays are treating everyone well. We snagged those beautiful days we had this weekend to wash the produce for distribution and pick kale and spinach outside and greens from the high tunnels. We watch the weather on the Internet and plan to wash on the days above freezing. So far, in the three years that we've done the Winter CSA there has always been a day above 32 in each two week period.
Last email I wrote an ode to kale, this week I thought I'd turn my keyboard fingers toward spinach. Spinach! Another marvelous winter food! I think of it as winter's green gold. In the mid Fall we plant about 18 200 foot rows to spinach. Like kale it grows all fall and then just sits there through the winter, stockpiled in the field. Spinach can freeze solid down to around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike kale, we have to wait til a thaw to pick it. If you pick spinach while frozen it will be bruise once thawed. Spinach can only be picked when there is no snow cover. So, over all less accessible than kale, but worth it! This past Sunday was perfect winter spinach picking weather - above 32, and no snow cover. As you can probably imagine, these weather conditions also make it very muddy. Fortunately we are farmers and like a bit of mud (or a lot). Next year we are considering planting much more of the high tunnels to spinach. This would mean planting less Asian greens. If spinach was planted in the high tunnels we would always be able to pick it, because it doesn't snow in there. So, what do people think? Email me back with your preference for next winter - all spinach?, all Asian greens?, or some of both? Keep in mind that conditions this winter season have made it very easy to supply you with outdoor spinach - another year may be much leaner in the outdoor spinach department. As much as we're able, we want to grow what you want to eat!!

There is another HARVEST DINNER this month. All proceeds from these farm dinners go to the Healthy Food For All Program - a program that subsidizes about 100 CSA shares in the area to low-income families. I've sent the information in a second email.

Here's the line up. ( a "/" indicates mix and match)

onions - the leeks are finished for the year, now you'll get onions.
thyme/rosemary - thyme from outside and rosemary from the high tunnels

cabbage/napa cabbage
Asian greens


rutabaga / hakurei turnip / gold ball turnip / celery / celeriac / daikon

All right everyone, see you at distribution!

ps- email me with what you had for Dinner Last Night and I'll put it on the recipe blog. Nothing fancy, just what you really had for dinner.

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