From the Farmer

Winter CSA: Week 1

Hello All Winter Share Members, Welcome to Winter Shares!

Please take a few minutes to read this email.  You may have also received a copy via our CSAware system – if you haven’t, please check your spam/junk box and ok these emails!

It’s great to be writing you.  We’ve never liked the idea of being part of a local food system for only part of the year; we’re excited to push on into the great winter unknown.  Fresh veggies and other foods in the winter might be the best of all.  Remember how much we crave them in spring?

The next nine weeks will belong especially to Al, Anya, Bree and Lex.  They’re four of the farm team and are taking on the winter CSA – if you haven’t met them you will on Wednesdays.  One of us will be at pick up each week – in this way, we are all balancing time off, a love of winter food, and various other projects and improvements at the farm.

Deb and I will be in and out on Wednesdays and are here if you have any questions, too.  But Al, Anya, Bree and Lex can take care of you; we’re so glad to watch our team stay, evolve and grow as the farm continues to do the same.

As a reminder, pick-ups for all winter shares (veggies, eggs, and chicken) are on Wednesdays at the Farm Stand, between 2 pm – 7 pm, or at the Boat House between 3 pm – 7 pm.  They start this week!

There are several more variables growing and harvesting in winter, including weather, so if weather doesn’t allow us to harvest for you one week, we will reschedule the pickup later on.  It’s important that you keep an eye on your email so we can communicate with you about this (or, tell us if you prefer a phone call if we have to cancel a pick up).  We don’t expect this to happen this time, but it’s certainly possible.  Think: 3 feet of snow, farm buried for a week.

Regarding vegetable shares.  Each week harvest will be a little different.  We try to give you: salad fixings, cooking greens, root crops, starches, an herb, an onion-family member, a cole crop (broccoli family), and something a little special or interesting each week.  We expect to give you a fair bit of choice – as much as we can.  For example, you might choose between carrots or turnips or beets.  Or choose a starch from sweet potato, potato, or winter squash.

Winter weather matters and every year is different.  While last year we had broccoli and cauliflower for weeks, this year you’ll only see it one or two weeks, thanks to the hard freeze a couple weeks ago.  That was most unusual for this time of year!  And the broccoli didn’t like it one bit.

Finally, newsletters will come as an email late Monday or first thing Tuesday each week.  Excepting this week, when it comes late Tuesday evening.  Notes from the farm and cooking suggestions included.

Finally finally, these shares are all still Beta for us, and by participating we’d like your feedback.  Certainly meet and communicate directly with Al and Anya at pickup, but also feel free to let us know what you think by email.  We’ll also reach out to you and at the end of the season ask you a few short questions.

And now for the first share…

Salad fixings: lettuce and arugula

Cooking greens: Swiss chard

Roots: Radishes

Allium: choice of garlic or onion

Starch: sweet potato, potato, or winter squash

Herb: cilantro or parsley

Cole Crop: Napa cabbage or broccoli

If you haven’t tried Napa cabbage before, take one home this week.  Napa is a sign of prosperity, and is also known as “Chinese cabbage.”  It’s less dense than regular cabbage, has savoy, frilly leaves, and is as good uncooked as it is cooked.  Napa is used in kimchi.  It’s leaves are nice as a wrap.  Excellent in stir-fry, raw in salads, cooked in soups, and of course you can use it for slaw, with eggs, in “hot pot”…

Have a great December and January, and as always, be great,

Mike, Deb, Al, Anya, Bree and Lex, and the (other) farm beasts

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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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