The seeds are rolling in! We looked over data from last year, read the member surveys, talked to the chefs, and finally the 2012 Farm Plan is nearing completion. Every year we get very excited about new varieties, but we’re also growing increasingly concerned about how many of our great old stalwart varieties are disappearing. There are a variety of reasons that a good variety goes out of production, but at least part of it is due to the consolidation of the seed industry. We applaud the great work that the Organic Seed Alliance and indefatigable farmers like Frank & Karen Morton of Wild Garden Seeds do to improve and maintain great varieties for small farms. If you’re buying seeds this spring, I’d encourage you to buy organic ones from local NW companies. It is by buying, growing and eating these varieties that we create the demand that sustains them.
You can download your Recipe Packet here. These are written by my friend Katherine Deumling at Cook With What You Have. She’s going to continue to provide them through the rest of the winter share so let me know what you think?
This week your share may include…
- Beets: We’re happy to see these delicious red beets back in the share. There are quite a few recipes in the packet this week. You can also check out my Beets 101 post for a few more ideas including my tried and true (and easy too!) Raw Beet and Apple Salad.
- Carrots: The carrots are very sweet, but at this point the carrot rust fly has done quite a bit of damage to them. We store the carrots in the ground because we think that the flavor and freshness are superior to those stored in the cooler. However, the longer they are in the ground, the more damage the carrot rust fly can do. That said, even though they don’t look very good they still taste great!
- Collards: They are looking beautiful with purple and red highlights on the leaves. This is another veggie that sweetens up considerably in the winter. I highly recommend the shredded collard in your recipe packet!
- Onions, Yellow: These Copra onions have great eating quality and they are our longest lasting onion in storage.
- Parsnips: Some great ideas for these in your recipe packet.
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli: It is SO exciting to have this in the share!! We are picking Rudolf, an early variety, which the catalog says should be ready by Christmas. Can’t believe everything you read I guess, but it definitely does mature earlier than the regular purple sprouting and we appreciate that. In addition to the little head of broccoli all the leaves and stems on the plant are sweet and tasty so enjoy those too.
- Popcorn: We love this Early Pink variety. If you have a microwave you can put the whole cob in a brown paper bag and microwave it 1 min at a time for up to 3min. Most of the kernals will be popped off at that point so pour it in a bowl with some butter and salt & yum! BE CAREFUL – more than 4 consecutive minutes in the microwave can cause the cobs to catch on fire!! Otherwise, take the kernals off the cob and make perfect popcorn the old fashioned way. 1 cob makes about 2 cups when it is popped.
- Potatoes: Nice Yukon Gold potatoes this week.
Coming soon… Leeks!