So it is rare that I find myself writing a newsletter this late at night the day before the pick up but some days that is just how things work out. All the produce for the Wednesday deliveries is harvested and as I write this Kevin and Molly are getting the trucks ready to load. And yes, we did all three stop for dinner in there somewhere as well. Yesterday was such an exciting day for me. As I walked around the farm trying to figure out what was going to be in the share this week I found myself discovering little gems here and there. Things I was sure had gone by the wayside in the few nights that it got down in the teens in the past few weeks. But to my surprise there was much to be found. It was warm outside and I felt really excited and hopeful. As if a sign that the winter season had really arrived I received my first 2015 seed catalog in the mail yesterday. And though I have not had a chance to look through it, I can’t wait to start dreaming about what the months ahead will hold in store.
And since it is the first pick up I just want to give a little rundown of what to expect.
In the produce share you will be getting lots of unwashed produce. This is not anything new for those of you who have been with us for a while but for others it can take some getting used to. We do this for a reason. Carrots may look nicer with the dirt washed off but they will go by faster than one that is harvested and immediately placed in a cooler. So that is how we harvest most of our produce. It goes straight from the field to a cooler, then from a cooler straight to you! This also means less waste in the winter. Carrots that have gone through a root washer would dry out fast and go limp more quickly in your refrigerator. Leftovers from the pick up would need to be trashed too. Also greens that get wet and don’t get dried out will turn slimy much faster then those that are kept in their original state in the field. One important tip when it comes to washing greens. Submerge your greens in water a couple times before drying them in a salad spinner. If you just rinse them and spin them you will not allow for the dirt to come off. Submerge them in water and repeat a few times and you will start to see that the water will get less dirty which each rinse. Greens keep well if wrapped in a damp paper towel and kept in the fridge. Scallions will keep very will with their roots in a glass of water. Sweet Potatoes, unlike all the other roots, like to be dry and cool while being stored so while your carrots would do great in a plastic bag in the fridge, don’t suffocate your sweet potatoes like that.
The egg share consists of 2 dozen eggs per pick up. If you ordered a cheese share you will be getting a pound of cheese each month from different local cheese makers.
If you have a meat share you will receive 17 points (exact poundage with vary based on your choices but we find people seem to take an average of 10 lbs) to use to go through and pick out what you will use. Keep in mind that we are a small farm and we deal with whole animals at a time so while we always aim to have a wide variety of cuts available, we do not always have every single cut.
The chicken share consists of two whole frozen chickens. If you have not gotten our chicken before it is important to know that most grocery store chicken is injected with a saline solution to prevent the meat from drying out. Our meat does not have this so make sure if you are roasting a chicken to keep moisture on the breast meat. Also, I highly suggest using the carcass for soup. It makes a great chicken soup and some people tell me they feel like they eat the chicken happily but mostly look forward to the soup.
The first pick up can be a little overwhelming so please try to give yourself enough time to pick out your shares. If you can arrive at the pick up at least 15 minutes before the end of it that should help you to not feel too rushed in picking out your shares and it will help your farmers make it back to the farm to start over again the next day with more work!
We also have a small farm store at each pick up. In the store we work to stock local products that we do not produce ourselves. We have milk, butter, apple cider, apples, sauerkraut, granola, and more! You can purchase items from the store by check or cash.
Please bring a few bags and boxes to put your share in. If you get a meat share you probably want to bring a cooler.
We are so excited to be feeding you this season!
Margaret and Kevin Brown