The sugaring season has not quite looked up yet. James was reminding us at breakfast that we are officially half-way through (six weeks is generally the amount of time you have before your tap holes start closing up). We’ve only had two not-so-great runs so far, even the warm days aren’t quite warm enough for our trees to think it’s spring. The weather report once again shows a beautiful string of days beginning on Saturday, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for some blue sky sunny days above freezing, the nighttime temperatures look perfect. Last year we did have a respectable haul of syrup with a very short spring—there were only about three weeks from the time the sap began to flow until the trees budded out—so there is time yet for good things.
The onions and leeks shot up in the greenhouse this week, perfectly timed with the beautiful spring snowfall. Each inch of snow makes me a little more hopeful that our water table will hold out this summer. A relic of last summer’s dry, dry days, is the end of the storage onions. We had a small yield and much of what was harvested failed in storage. Inconsistent water supply while the layers are developing will cause the onion, while looking great on the outside, to develop a rotten ring deep inside. It’s hard to remember now what those extremely hot, dry months felt like. We studied every passing cloud intently, hopeful that it might open up above us. The few times we were rewarded the quickly passing showers nearly evaporated before they hit the ground, within minutes you couldn’t even tell the soil had been moistened.
We do have lots of shallots for the share. They have a slightly more delicate flavor and are more tender than onions, so they cook more quickly. They can be used in place of onions in any recipe, but are perfect in recipes where you want a mellow flavor or shorter cooking time like white sauces or even used raw in fresh vinaigrettes.
Full and By Farm Shares
In the veggie share: shallots, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, celeriac, beets, carrots, garlic, red, white and black beans, and blue corn meal. Happily, the laying hens are producing well, there are plenty of eggs so take extra tonight.
In the meat share: Beef, pork and stew birds (don’t forget they need long and moist cooking) are in the freezer. James is a master borscht-maker, the perfect soup for the winter share—beef and beets with a hearty topping of sour cream. He is also working on perfecting his chicken soup, likewise great for root crops and stew birds. Lard and leaf lard are also available.
Full and By Farm