Carrots, Then Rest: Winter CSA 2018 – Delivery #1
I looked across the dinner table at my husband, and he had a familiar look of stress on his face.
“Stressed?” I asked.
“We gotta get those carrots out before it freezes,” he said.
“We’ll get them out,” I said, trying to be reassuring. Being married for 9 years, I knew it was best to say nothing else at that moment.
However, I couldn’t help but smile in my mind. While it is stressful here at the end of the season to get all the food we’ve grown out of the ground before the weather conditions make it impossible, I also know that this is the last big stress of the year. Soon, the thrice-daily weather checks and constant readjusting of scheduling based on nature is about to end. Like squirrels scrambling to hide their final acorns before the big cold of winter, we too are in our final push. We have some hard, cold work ahead of us this week, but then we will find ourselves on the other side of it, ready to slow down and rest along with the land.
We grow literally tons of carrots. Many of them you will see in the form of 5 pound bags in your winter boxes. But many of them you or I won’t see again until March. Why? Well, another farm has the main contract to sell carrots to the Willy Street Coops throughout the winter. But when they sell out, Willy comes to us. At that time we pull our carrots out of cold storage, where they have been kept, at 33 degrees, unwashed (the dirt helps protect them from dessicating) and under plastic covers we put on top of their bins.
Selling carrots in March and April helps provide us an income stream in months where vegetable availability is at its leanest.
And harvesting them in late October and early November, provides one last stream of income to our farm employees who are soon to be let go for for the winter.
To harvest our main storage crop of carrots, we use a carrot harvester. To use this medieval-looking contraption, three people are involved. I drive the tractor, a big one with lots of power. Then Mike and one employee (Kevin) ride on the harvester; Mike guides the digging knives and Kevin manages the carrots as they roll out of the bag of the harvester.
In wet years, where we get rain before the cool weather like we did this year, other employees often help knock the big clods of soil off the carrots before we put them in their large storage bins. Good soil is how we grow good food, so it’s worth taking the time to leave as much soil in our fields as we can.
Enjoy your veggies!
Mike, Cassie, Zea, Edie, and Juna
In the Box:
- Beauty Heart Radish
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Cabbage, Green
- Daikon Radish
- Festival Squash
- Green Kale
- Onion, Bottle & Yellow
- Potato, Red
- Red Leaf Lettuce
- Sweet Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
find more HERE
- Fried Rice with Tatsoi, Carrots, and Radish
- Potato Arugula Salad
- Sauteed Cabbage Over Brown Rice with Toasted Walnuts and Parmesan
- Ground Pork with Cabbage and Apples
- Moroccan Sweet Potato and Carrot Fries
- Mustardy Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon
- Kale, Lentil, and Roasted Beet Salad
- Vegetable and Winter Squash Soup
- Cumin Roasted Carrots with Wild Rice
- Butternut Squash Chili with Beef
- Roasted Squash Radish Salad