Week 16, Winter 2014

gr garlic onions

  • Green Garlic  Enjoy the first fresh garlic of the season! Make sure to check out this week’s recipes in the newsletter.
  • Red Beets
  • Gigante Kohlrabi
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes
  • Red Scallions
  • White Russian Kale Rapini   It doesn’t get much better than this! The rapini from these plants is in it’s peak. Big succulent, super-sweet stalks. Great flavor fresh or cooked.  Try making a crunchy kale rapini salad!
  • Savoy Cabbage Rapini   This rapini comes from the Savoy Cabbage plant and has long tender shoots that are very sweet and mild in flavor. Excellent eaten fresh.
  • Salad Mix

 

Farm Happenings

The ospreys are back.

We’ve been watching them fly across the farm busily over the last few weeks, delicately carrying the next addition to their impressive nests, always held in their sharp talons parallel with their own body in order to minimize drag. share

Over the weekend, while we were transplanting some Chinese cabbage and bok choy that were ready to go into the ground, an osprey swooped down almost silently within 20 feet of us, picked up a tuft of grass from the newly worked up ground, and lifted it off into the sky.

We had been watching them fly back and forth all morning, retrieving stick after stick to form the base of their nests–a very energy intensive process.  The bird that had touched ground within a few bounds of us had apparently completed the structural part of its nest and had moved onto the next step of the home-building project: padding.  A nice carpet of shag grass to make the place a little more comfortable.

We didn’t hear it come down, but when it lifted off with its target in claw it made us both jump.  We both stared as it flew off, shocked at coming so close to a bird that generally maintains a wide expanse between itself and any of us two-leggeds.

At that moment, two things became apparent to us: First, it was a good moment not to be a fish.  And second, that we farmers are not the only ones who work so hard in the spring to prepare for the summer.  These birds put a tremendous amount of effort into rebuilding their homes each year, and if you’ve ever seen an osprey’s nest, you know that it is no small feat to construct such an impressive structure carrying one stick at a time.

Last week we felt like we were working just about as hard as those birds.  As they were collecting hundreds of sticks and other building materials, we were planting hundreds of vegetable starts and thousands of seeds.

P1030531We also had a few vehicle related misfortunes that we had to attend to in the mist of planting:  Jesse had to fix a leaking transmission line on the truck.  A tractor tire was leaking due to a rusty wheel, so we had to take it apart, sand it down, repaint it, and get the tube replaced.  And perhaps worst of all, someone got into our truck one night and stole our cash pouch and Chloe’s wallet. We were partly to blame for leaving the truck unlocked with valuable items inside (both of which we normally make a point of bringing in the house). We were fortunate though, because they did not steal the big bag of seeds that was sitting in the back seat (if only they knew that those were worth much more than the cash that they got).

Despite the challenges, at the end of our planting marathon, we looked back at the field and realized that we had almost filled an entire acre up to that point.  For us, it feels good to look back and see a concrete accomplishment after a long day of work. I wonder if the osprey also looks back to take an account after completing its formidable nest, weighing  its accomplishment against any remembered frustration.  I wonder if it also in some way thinks “boy, there sure is a lot of work ahead, but it looks like it’s going to be a bountiful summer.” Well we certainly do.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables.

 

 

Week 7 Newsletter - Winter 2014

 

 

 

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