- Purple Viking Potatoes
- Delicata Winter Squash
- Black Beans
- Kale Mix
- Gigante Kohlrabi
- Red Beets
- Cornmeal or Whole Corn
- Savoy Cabbage
The new year is progressing rapidly. This is our fourth week of the CSA, which means that the tail end of January is about to whip right past our noses (try not to loose your hat).
February will be in tow, and it is a busy month for us farmers. It is a month when the dark, brooding days of winter begin to be interrupted more regularly by crucial tasks and gatherings. Gatherings such as the Small Farmer’s Conference in Corvallis and Farmer to Farmer Conference up in the mountains east of Salem, both of which are yearly meetings of mostly small-scale, organic farmers in the Willamette Valley. There is also the Mid-Valley Food Summit here in Salem on February 6th, at which we will be doing a short presentation about our farm.
February is the month when farmers come together to share in an agricultural communion—sharing stories and knowledge, gleaned from the previous season and digested over the quiet, somber months.
However, for us vegetable growers here in the Valley, it is also a month for pressing action. Plans already made for the coming season, seed deliveries coming in, it’s time to pull out the plug trays, give them a good shake to wake ‘em up (and wake you up). Get the shovels and rakes. Throw down the compost, the peat and perlite, the kelp meal and manure. Mix fast. Don’t give in to the urge of resistance, the lethargy and heavy limbs of hibernation. Breathe deep and sweat, feel the muscles burn as they too awaken. Be glad this is not yet the middle of the season, but the beginning, so give it a good start and feel your energy replenished.
Mix the first batch of soil in which the first seeds of the season will be sown. Seeds passed down through generations, their genetic lines kept from oblivion by active cultivation, necessity, the ever-present drive of hunger.
February is the month for alliums, those cold hardy, slow growing and resilient little creatures like leeks, onions, scallions, and shallots. Good plants to begin with. Hard to kill. Forgiving. They give you a chance to work any kinks out of the system and get back into your routine. The names are numerous: Tadorna, Bandit, Alto, Ed’s Red, Rossa di Milano, Stuttgarter, Cipollini, Red Wing, New York Early, Cortland, Newburg, Ailsa Craig, Red long of Tropea, Siskiyou Sweet, and Gladstone.
They are a tangible and undeniable reminder of the continuity of the seasons. The leeks that we will all eat this week were sown in the same manner one year ago. We will chew them, swallow them, digest them, feel their energy, and their message: “Look up. Each day the sun is rising higher in the sky. Another season is coming. The dark, hungry months will return, and you will need us then. Wake up. Ready yourself.”