From the Farmer

Week 24 – 10/21/2013

In Your Share this Week…

First cabbage of the fall.  Like last week’s broccoli, this cabbage has a case of giantism.  We gave these crops extra space so we could interseed a winter cover crop (otherwise the cover crop would get too late a start if it had to wait until after harvest) so it fits well in our crop rotation.  They seem to like being pampered.  Plus I like seeing greenness growing instead of dirt, and the carpet of clover, rye, barley, and vetch made harvest much easier during last week's heavy rain.   

This is serious cabbage – very tender but you’ll be receiving quite a lot.  Try to feature it this week, and have neighbors over for dinner one night: perhaps stuffed cabbage, take cole slaw for a potluck (with non-CSA friends), make kimchi or sauerkraut.  Then make salad or add carrots or sweet potatoes plus balsamic vinegar and perhaps something sweet, too (agave nectar, honey, maple).  It’s also a very common side to papusas and tacos… if you have a creative idea share it on Facebook, add a recipe to the recipe page (At the Table) or let one of us know so we can pass it along.

Also in your share this week, ginger.  Fresh, young ginger is an unusual crop in the temperate Eastern states.  We grow for a single season what usually takes eighteen months to two years – it does not develop the tough, leathery skin that allows it to store well, instead it comes with a pink, tender skin that requires freezing or refrigeration (or pickling). 

Ginger is excellent for you and should be a staple in healthy cooking.  Research indicates ginger is effective in relieving pain, inflammation, and stiffness.  It contains zinc, which is required for mental development, for healthy reproductive organs, for protein synthesis and collagen formation and manganese, which activates many dozens of enzymes throughout the body.  I like it in tea and in South Asian dishes, but you can also make ale, beer, bread, carrots (Alice Waters has a nice Moroccan Carrot Salad with Ginger), muffins, ice cream and snaps with ginger – and it pickles very well.  Store it in the fridge or freezer.

Ginger is especially good for digestion – mince it and add it to hot water to make ginger tea, place one tablespoon freshly grated ginger in a teapot, bring four cups filtered water to a boil and pour over the ginger, let this stand several minutes and stir in one tablespoon raw honey.  You can strain it or not.

Farm Crew

As the season winds down we begin to say goodbye to farm crew.  You don’t see the crew often, if not at a potluck then perhaps at the Farm Stand, the Boat House, or Happy Gardening Hour.  You should know what a good job this crew has done this year.  Led by Jen Beidel, Matt Kuebbing, Abby Flory and David Berens are still hard at work harvesting and caring for crops, doing field work, and working on farm projects.  They are each such good natured people, they are curious and passionate, and they give much of themselves to the farm and the CSA because they genuinely care about their work growing food.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with them.

We’ve been very fortunate the last few months to have them all and I hope you have a chance to see them again before they leave on their next adventures – assuming we can’t convince them to return in 2014.  

Survey Coming At You

We hope you’ve had a good season with us this year.  We are busy planning next year’s CSA options and would like to hear from you about your experience and the value of CSA to you.  Please keep an eye out for a survey link in the next week, or stop to talk when you come to the farm stand.  We want keep doing what we do well and improve on what we don’t!

Have a good week and be great,


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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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