January Thaw

Storage vegetables, as you might guess, are kept in storage, from the time they are harvested (usually October, for us) to the time they are sold and eaten. For us, storage is three separate rooms in the barn; each room is insulated, one room is kept cool and humid (for most veggies, like cabbage, kohlrabi, potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, etc.), one is kept cool and dry (for garlic, shallots, and onions), and the other is kept warm and dry (for squash and sweet potatoes). 

The goal is to keep the vegetables in a dormant state - different veggies have different requirements to stay dormant, as you can see from above. When we started out, we lumped a lot more things together because of space limitations, and we had a lot more rotting and a lot more vegetables sprout in storage. 

Having the three separate storage rooms this year has really helped maintain the quality of the storage veggies. Even with the better storage, however, we clean and trim the storage veggies weekly before market to make sure that they are fresh and looking their best. For example, when we harvest storage cabbage, we leave the outer leaves on to try to keep the most moisture we can in the cabbage. Then, before market, we peel off the slightly dehydrated outer leaves to reveal the fresh cabbage inside and trim off any excess stem. See below for a before (left) and after (right) example. 

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We continue to make progress on getting the new greenhouse ready for the 2017 growing season. This week's project has been getting the electric wiring and panel set up. Our electrician, Russ Tremblay, did most of the technical work, but we got to help out - we pushed (while Russ' machine pulled), nearly this entire spool of electrical cable (below) down a pipe from the barn to the new greenhouse! It probably would not have been possible to do that if the temperatures had not been in the 40s, so we did luck out with this little January thaw.

We will have some greens at market this weekend, but limited quantities since last weekend was so cold!

See you at market,

-Ailish

Winter Whites and Grays

We don't have the blues yet, but the going is getting tougher. Freezing temperatures and snow make it a lot harder to work outside. Fortunately we have enough stuff to do inside and enough warm(ish) sunny(ish) weather to keep chipping away at outside projects.

We are still harvesting leeks, greens, and Brussels sprouts, and restocking and washing veggies for our weekly markets gives us a lot to do in the barn (which is heated to about 40F. We are also getting row covers on the plants that are in high tunnels. Even though they are already protected, the row covers add a few degrees of frost protection that can be critical in getting them through the winter (see below).

 

Still, we have had enough good weather to make progress on the new greenhouse even with snow on the ground (see below). We hope to receive the plastic for the end walls this week and hopefully get this thing covered by the end of next week! That would be amazing.

See you at market!

-Ailish