After experiencing wonderful weather last weekend when we hosted the Limestone College field hockey team, we had a significant drop in temperature along with some spits of snow late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. With all of the warnings that this was coming, we harvested heavily on Monday just in case. The Farm Report gives a YTD total now of 1,632 pounds!
But we have also been reading about some of the leafy greens that actually thrive by producing more sugar as a sort of ‘antifreeze’ for the plant! To quote directly from Organic Gardening magazine, “low winter temps bring out the best in some crops. A touch of frost adds sweetness to Brussels sprouts, parsnips and kale while taking the bitter edge off of escarole and radicchio. Delicate Swiss chard leaves not only survive extreme cold but also retain their delicious flavor.”
This has been our experience so far since our temps have not dropped below 20 degrees F this year. For the most part, we are still in business in the cool season part of the field, especially true of the root vegetables as seen by wonderful turnips and carrots!
We have enjoyed kale ‘chips’ baked in the oven as well but be be careful since these cook quickly!
With the drastic cold snap last week we had a sudden leaf drop from the gorgeous ginko outside of my office! I swear, all of the leaves dropped in one day! Here is the tree last Saturday when the team was enjoying lunch on the terrace.
Now those leaves are all re-distributed into the fields since Dave has collected them and has been shredding them and transporting them to the fields where he will till them under, along with all of the other detritus left from the plants. (For some reason, Dave loves to say the word ‘detritus’ so that is why it was in my sentence.’)
In other farm news, all of the River Birches from the front islands have been chopped away but still need to have their stumps ground away. Jon has visited us twice this week to start eradicating the Euonymus ground cover which we are eager to see go away. Our new trees, the Trident Maples, have been dug from a local tree farm and were delivered to a local nursery last week. We decided to go and visit them. Advertised as a 3″ caliper trunk, these particular specimens surpass our expectations! Here is Dave next to our 12 trees for scale.
In other news that is not farm related, I finally finished my recent sweater, an example of Fair Isle knitting, in the early hours this morning. Most of you would think of early hours this morning as 1am or something. Nope, I got up with Farley around 4:30am (he is an older dog with bladder issues and cannot last thru the night) and I gladly knitted away! It fits nicely and I am quite pleased so I popped it over my head and wore it all day today. I will continue to dream on about visiting the Shetland Islands someday. If you want to see more on this, the link to it on my Ravelry page (for those of you who are not familiar with Ravelry, it is the knitting/spinning/crochet equivalent of Facebook) is here: http://ravel.me/NancySauerhoff/d9d0o!