I’m back on frozen ground this week and looking forward to a nice snowfall tomorrow. I did manage to focus my attentions through the din of city life and place a big seed order. I have planned for bigger plantings of sweet corn and a special request for curly kale, more spring peas and spinach (both of which were nearly failed crops this year due to the crazy fluctuating temperatures). I’ve also ordered seed for parsley root, a storage crop with a nutty, parsley flavor perfect for flavoring winter soups, and to take advantage of the hot summers we’ve been having—okra and full-size watermelons. Extra special thanks to our friend Brad for traveling up for Pennsylvania to farm with James while I was away.
Sadly, on Monday James had to put down one of my favorite Jersey’s, Willa. She had been inexplicably losing condition for months. After taking her calf off of her, supplementing her diet with grain and finally drying her off altogether, all to no avail, we finally called the vet in. We don’t have an exact diagnosis but the vet found some sort of growth in her reproductive track, most likely a cancer. It’s heart breaking to lose her, but she was becoming very withdrawn from the other animals and clearly had been quietly suffering.
In preparation for sugaring season, James has been bucking, splitting and stacking wood. He should be done and the piles covered before snowfall tonight, leaving us with nice tidy pallets of wood in place of the giant mess that had been gracing the entrance to the CSA room. And leaving us ready for spring and the unimaginably delectable smell of syrup boiling away in a moonlit evaporator pan.
We have room for more ashes in the bins, feel free to bring them in as you clean out your woodstove. These ashes go out to the animals, so it is very important that there are no nails or other trash mixed in, only ashes from clean wood.
Full and By Farm Shares
In the veggie share: red prism shallots, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, winter squash, cabbage, celeriac, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, green kraut, kimchee, red, white and black beans, and blue corn meal. Coming soon: garbanzo beans.
A less devastating loss while I was away was our first crop of Endive. It was being forced in a small seventy degree cabinet, but the heater was unable to keep up during one of the extremely cold nights that we experienced, causing the cabinet to freeze, and then overcompensating the next day by going up to ninety. With a few alterations to the system I will start another batch tomorrow, which we will hopefully enjoy in about three weeks.
In the meat share: beef, pork and stew birds in the freezer. Lard and leaf lard.
Full and By Farm