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Winter is blowing in

Dec. 2nd, 2009 | 04:17 pm

But you would never know it from our greenhouse...

We are doing a trial of growing fall/winter spinach and tatsoi in our unheated greenhouse. This was planted the Monday of Labor Day weekend...I think that was the 1st week of September. Normally, the baby spinach maturation time is around 35-40 days. Due to the decreased fall heat units and significant loss of sunlight hours, it took nearly three times as long to mature. It was not big enough to harvest while our regular CSA was still going on, and was still quite miniature sized on November 7th for our farm "Thanksgiving" CSA box. With the warm and sunny November we had though, it quickly sized up and we harvested for our winter CSA box on November 21. Fresh greens are a wonderful treat right now and we're lucky we get to daily sample our "investigation". It will be interesting to see how the greens hold over in the coming colder months.

Last minute outdoor winterizing projects are nearly completed. Nearly every machine on the farm is getting a fall tune-up and oil change. Here's the downside (and cost) of having so many machines and tractors. Lots of repairs and maintenance. Believe it or not, Adam has a docket of projects and repairs to last many a winter. The "farming" continues, just in a behind-the-scenes way.

We're in a good spot for Spring preparations though. Much better compared to last year, when we missed the fall plowing window and were just getting acquainted with our surroundings. The planning for next season has already begun--most of the seed catalogs have already arrived and we're poring over them. There's a couple new varieties of golden beets that we're really excited about--golden beets are very popular at our farmers market and with some CSA members, due to their color and less intense "beety" flavor. Unfortunately, previous varieties have been horrible germinators with poor yields of high-quality beets. We take beets pretty seriously, so some new golden beet options is a cause for celebration indeed! We grew a Lutz golden beet last year that was generally better, but it got ridiculously huge. Although the texture and flavor was still good, it was a freak of a beet. I mean that in the most glorious way. But a little unwieldy for CSA boxes. Our workshare, Kevin, shows off one of the bigger ones.

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