Late Winter Greetings… Spring is just around the corner!

My family’s cellar is a little more than halfway empty–I still have enough to make several more pots of stew and several more quarts of sauerkraut and sauerreuben (sauerkraut made from turnips).  It’s about this time that I’m assessing what I would like to get more and less of next fall for winter storage.  (For instance, I should put up more tomatoes and get more carrots.)  And it’s also time where I’m looking for some decidedly different recipes for rutebagas and Gilfeathers.  Here’s one I got from my neighbor:  New England version of Thai Green Papaya Salad.  It’s a pleasant surprise.
What is happening for New England farm families at this cold, frozen time of year?  Farmers have some time off the farm for meetings, conferences, and for swapping skills and ideas.  They are way into seed ordering, crop plans, hiring, CSA signups, starting seeds in the greenhouse, and even harvesting (see below). Drive is renewed and hope is rekindled…
And of course, there’s maple sugaring!  Dale and Jan Wentworth are firing up the boilers in the sugar house at The Warren Farm. boiling down the thousands of gallons of sap for the hundreds of jugs of syrup we’ll get in the fall. Dale and Jan are both very dedicated to a top-notch operation but also get fired up about sharing it all with their visitors and customers.  They’ll be giving guided tours on all March weekends, Sat. and Sun. at 2pm.  Tours discuss and demonstrate sugaring methods and culture, from Native American and colonial methods and tools all the way through to the latest technology used at the commercial scale in Massachusetts.
Riverland, one of our primary growers for Shared Harvest, has expanded their storage and extended season growing capacities. This winter they’ve been harvesting greens from under snow-covered low tunnels!  Next winter they will grow, pack and store most of the veggies for our new Shared Harvest deep winter January-February optionDetails are soon to come;  this option will be available to a more limited number of shareholders.  As you sign up for your share, you can let me know if you’d be interested in the deep winter share option.  I’ll send out more details once we have them.
You might also want to know about Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester. Wright-Locke sells their farm-fresh eggs on Wednesday and Saturday mornings through the winter (now!) and will be hosting our deep winter share pickups next winter in their wood-stove heated farm stand.  They’re expanding their education offerings with spring vacation and summer programming.  This farm is right in my neighborhood just over the border from Arlington Heights.  It has beautiful big old barns, chickens, bees, a huge PYO raspberry field, etc. and abuts conservation land.