Getting ready for the last winter markets. Here is Russ washing sorting washed carrots. It is cold, wet work. Still, Russ is smiling… I think. Last growing season we had lots of rust fly damage so we have a greater percentage of 2nd quality carrots than ever before. This season we will be trying a special type of row cover over the carrots as they grow. Typically a row cover will keep a crop warmer while excluding flying insects. In mid-summer, that extra heat may suppress germination and crop growth so we have been hesitant to use it. We learned about a light weight netting that would have the same effect of keeping out pests but would not heat up the soil and crop. Hopefully that will do the trick. Our carrots really keep their sweet crisp flavor into the spring so they are very popular. Many people even love our seconds cause we sell them at a lower price and they still taste yummy… just require a little more work to prepare. Still, we would rather have fewer 2nds and more beauties!
We also have our winter greenhouses from which we get to harvest greens! Here is our new apprentice, Ruth Ann, harvesting spinach for our winter CSA members and a March farmers’ market. The spinach is incredibly tasty and sweet when grown over the cold winter months. Next year we plan to have spinach over more of the winter months. We will also be growing more cold hardy greens that we can harvest in December and others that will survive and begin growing again in February. All of these greenhouses have no supplemental heat… just the sun! We do have row covers in the greenhouses that go over the plants when the temperatures go below freezing (why am I writing that in passive tense as if it just happens automatically!… we put them on when it is cold and take them off again when it is sunny and warm). You can see the white row covers behind Ruth Ann.
A bushel of green spinach contrasts with the white winter snow…… a basket of hope! Ahhh how poetic… or something!