Farmer Johnny Update

As we move into the cooler, darker time of year the farm’s crops take a decided turn towards the leaf and the root. As the cold, dry air that we’ve been experiencing settles into our valley, the crispness of the air translates into a sweetness for the cold loving crops we grow on the farm this time of year.

Especially great now are the cabbages, cauliflowers, bok choy, broccoli’s and kales (collectively known as the “brassicas”) and our root crops, beets, turnips, and carrots. It’s now when the flavor of these crops really shine and has me questioning the wisdom of a summer grown carrot.

1. What are you most excited about in this week’s harvest box and why?

This week, we are featuring the Kyoto red carrot, which has been quick to become our favorite carrot here on the farm. It’s a long-season carrot, taking from seed to maturity a painful 90 + days, but it is well worth the wait. We only sow this particular specialty carrot in a narrow window from late August through October, allowing it to come to maturity under the coolest weather and shortest days of the year. Under other conditions, it doesn’t develop the sweetness or color that makes it special. A native of Kyoto, Japan, this sweet red carrot is traditionally eaten on the Japanese new year, often carved into the shape of a plum blossom to represent fertility in the coming year. Try eating it raw, or roasted in halves coated with oil for a delicious holiday “candy carrot”.

2. What is on the horizon for the boxes in the coming weeks? 

Leeks and spring onions, spinach, and arugula. Really tasty lettuces and peas. Strawberries in the new year!

3. What is being planted now and when will that be ready?

We still planting our cool-season crops and will be doing so over the next few weeks..We will put our last round of cauliflowers, winter kales, and cabbages in the ground just after the new year. However, beginning around the Winter Solstice (what I call the first day of summer due to the start of longer days), we will start to seed our first rounds in the greenhouse of our summer crops like tomatoes and peppers. It’s hard to believe, but I spring and summer are just around the corner!