December: It’s frosty out and we’ve got fresh locally grown!

The ground has already frozen many times in the Pioneer Valley where Picadilly Farm and Riverland Farm are.  Most if not all roots have already been pulled.  Kale and other hardy winter greens are still in the fields, though, and can be harvested just as long as the afternoon is above freezing temps.  And they just get sweeter the frostier it is.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy and store this winter veggie bounty.

Jackie Starr’s Fabulous Menu Suggestions for our December Share:  Shareholder Jackie Starr has pulled together 3 weeks worth of dinner recipes customized to our share contents list.  She welcomes us this way into her kitchen to see the possibilities she sees…very cool and helpful!

Use these within a week or so (or blanch or make a dish for freezing): 

Shares contained two of the following 3 leafy greens plus a bunch of green curly kale:

Siberian Kale, Lettuce, Young Arugula

Curly Kale—1 bunch, from Riverland—great in soups, grated and marinated for a salad, or kale chips!

Store these in their holey bags in the refrigerator or Cool Cellar, high humidity
Beets, carrots, cabbage, celeriac, parsnips, rutabaga, winter radishes.

Potatoes do best in 80-90% humidity.  Ideally bring potatoes back to near room temperature in the week before you eat them (just transfer to your kitchen) to make them “Potato-ey” again, i.e. more starchy and less sweet.

Tips for all roots:  To maintain high humidity store in plastic bags with some holes for some airflow.  Carrots and other roots can do quite well also at 33-50 degrees buried in moist leaves or sand (you’ll need to periodically re-moisten the leaves or sand with a watering can.) If your roots become soft, it is likely they have become dehydrated and just need more moisture.  If they are rotten (discolored and with squishy brown-ness), it is likely they are too warm.  Cut off the rot and put the remaining (which would be just fine) in a cooler place.

Kitchen, pantry, basement, or cooler room 55-70 degrees, 70% humidity
Beans (dried), butternut squash, sweet potatoes will store for months at medium room temperature and humidity. If squash has any blemishes, use those first.  You can peel, chop, and freeze squash for later use.

Onions and garlic will store for weeks in the kitchen, but long term storage should be colder and lower humidity.  Can store garlic in closed jars in the refrigerator.