Monday, February 27, 2012


I got lucky today, it was dry and sunny all day.  I've been away for the last week so I'm not sure how the weather has been (it was snowing where I was in the Rocky Mountains).  Today was about as good as it could have gotten for getting seed into the ground, and that's what I did.  I spent the morning seeding onions and shallots in the greenhouse and rearranging trays in there (the reach in heated greenhouse is starting to fill up).  In the afternoon I managed to get some greens, turnips and peas seeded and covered.  I only seeded half of the peas, the other half are soaking next to me on my desk.  I'll dry them out tomorrow and then seed them on Thursday and see if they do better than the ones seeded today.  Today's weather was great for seeding but the weather the rest of the week doesn't look great for germination so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these seedings work out.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Last of the Leeks

Today's share not only has the last of the leek, but also the last of the gold ball turnips and a few of the chicory types.  There are also a good number of brussels sprouts in the share, although we may have a few more of those in a couple of weeks, or at least raab from those later in the year.  I cleared out the last of the sugarloaf, castlefranco and radicchio so different bags have different chicories.  These are all great salad greens.  The turnip greens, as well as the root, are edible, and would be good cooked and seasoned with a bit of vinegar on top.  The brussels need a bit of cleaning, usually that involves trimming the ends with a knife and removing the outside leaf.  These are small enough to sautee whole, or in halves.  I like to brown them in a bit of olive oil and then add a bit of water and balsamic, cover them and let them cook another few minutes until just tender.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Clean Up

I was hoping for another dry day yesterday.  It turned out to be dry enough, but it was raining when I got there in the morning and didn't look promising.  Fortunately I had a bit of greenhouse seeding to keep me occupied until the rain stopped.  The four tine cultivator in the photo below works well for a light cultivation in the garlic even when the beds are a little wet.

I also managed to get some of the row cover that is pretty much shredded at this point bundled up for a trip to the dump.  Kji and I stuffed all of our old drip tape into a big tote for recycling.  I don't think I've been as dirty as I was yesterday for a while.  Wrestling with wet, muddy drip tape is sure fired way to coat yourself in grit.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Firing Up the Greenhouse

Harvesting at this time of year is like scavenging and it takes a little restraint as well. On the one hand it doesn't look, at first glance, like there's much in the field. On the other, I have to be careful to leave a little for later in the season and not give it all out at once.

Today we thinned the mache, hoping it will keep sizing up, and also that some will go to seed so that it will naturalize and plant itself in future years.  Mache, also called corn salad, is the small green.  It probably won't keep as long as the other items so make a salad soon.  It's good with just a bit of oil and salt.  It does need cleaning as it tends to hold a bit of soil.  Clean off any yellow leaves but don't separate the florets, they can just be eaten whole.  Also new for this year is salsify, or oyster root.  It's basically the same thing as the scorzonera we gave out in December, just a white version.  Peel it, cut it in chunks and boil or roast it until tender.  You can fry it as well, but be careful because it goes from brown to burned quickly. Kale, leeks and frisee should all be familiar by now. The frisee has been great this year, the leeks are nearing the end, but they have nice long white shafts.  The kale seems more and more beautiful every harvest.  It really colors beautifully with the cold evenings.

I seeded the first flat for the new season today, a bit of emerald oak lettuce.  We cleaned up the propagation table and heat mats, reset the irrigation timer, and it all looks good.  With a little luck we'll have little lettuce seedlings next week.