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January 20, 2014

As I write this, Max is whipping up some of his special French onion soup with some broth from our own beef shanks. It looks like we'll be moving a lot of snow tomorrow and there's nothing like a bowl of this soup after a day of shoveling.

This Week's Share

More frigid cold this week!  Even though the kale is super hardy, I'm not sure it will be looking so hot after a couple days of below 20's, so it may not be in the share this week. It will probably be fine, but if not it will rebound with just a little warming.

Recipe of the Week: 

French Onion Soup

Ingredients: 
  • 5 onions
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • pinch of thyme
  • 2tbs. dry sherry or white wine
  • 3 1/2 c. beef stock
  • salt to taste black pepper
  • slices of good toasted bread
  • grated gruyere cheese
Directions: 

Put soup pot over medium-low flame and add oil and butter until melted. Add chopped onions and a pinch of thyme, and stir occasionally. When they begin to brown after about 15 minutes, turn the heat down and cook, stirring often for 40 minutes. This is the hard part! Don't let them burn during this slow cooking process. The onions will turn a rich brown.
Add sherry or wine and turn up heat to high and stirring continuously, cook off sherry or wine. Add stock and bring to boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste but don't skimp on the salt. It'll bring out the flavor of the soup.
Pour soup into oven proof bowls, float bread slices on top and sprinkle cheese. Put in broiler until cheese is melted and voila!

Credit: 
The Joy of Cooking

Knock, knock, knock

Dear Friends,

After another lovely warm spell, old man winter is once again knocking on our doors. We knew it wouldn't last but there is something awfully nice about days in the mid 40's in January. The kale and spinach took advantage of the warmth and perked up considerably although I am afraid the impending cold will once again take a bit of wind our of their sails. The kale tastes great this time of year but if it is cold and cloudy when we harvest the kale will be a bit on the floppy side. On the bright side, as we get further away from the winter solstice and the days get longer all of our indoor green crops will start to enjoy new growth. The carrot variety coming out of storage has changed and you will likely notice larger, sweeter carrots in the share from here on out. One of the challenges with having produce in the winter is that we need to select varieties that not only grow well, but also store well. Every year we experiment with different varieties and try to come up with the best possible crops for our specific situation. The new carrots are called 'Bolero' and they are an absolute winner, a hands down favorite of ours for fall growing and winter storage.

While cutting spinach in the greenhouse last week, I dare say we could smell the faintest hint of spring in the air. The warm, humid greenhouse reminded us that once again the trees, fields and hills would again be green. The feeling was fleeting but pleasant none the less. Of course, spring is still a long way off and we are finding ourselves facing another deep freeze. Fortunately, we are still firmly in 'inside mode' on the farm. All the crops in the winter share are coming from the root cellars and the high tunnels and we are spending the majority of our days indoors. The cows and horses force us to venture out each and every morning, despite the weather but aside from our daily chores and the occasional walk in the woods, most of our time on the farm is happening in front of the computer.

We are in the midst of planning out next season, ordering our seeds and putting the finishing touches on the crop plan. It amazes me how the waves of our winter production wash up on the shores of the next season. When I first started farming we were done by November, once the garlic was in the ground, we called it a year. I spent my winters making cappuccinos, feeding pigs, washing dishes and dreaming of vegetables. It is a thrill to be harvesting kale and spinach in late January. To still see crops growing, healthy and strong even at the coldest darkest time of year is a perpetual reminder of spring. We are so happy to see growth and life this time of year that even the weeds make us smile.

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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