Monday, March 9, 2009

In the Field: The Seasonal Muddy Harvest

The reliable and diligent hard working efforts of Jose and Javier during these recent winter months has allowed the farm operation to continue in the field in tip-top shape. The weekly harvest is accomplished, rain or shine. New fruit trees made it into the field recently, taking the place of an overhwleming spot of poison oak and wild blackberries. The onions have been well weeded, the strawberries carefully watched for optimum health and and assured spring crop. The weekly harvest is always an event to supply the farm stand, perhaps the CSA, the Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco. Between the two of these guys, this can become a lot of muddy work to supply all of these market outlets. I don't know one person who is not grateful for the recent rains, but I also know it makes a sticky and slimy job out of digging up leeks, sunchokes, parsnips, carrots, beets, celerey roots, rutabagas, all that yummy root stuff. Prior to field washing, the roots are covered in the remains of that precious mud that has provided their home for the months of their growing season.
Even if it is not a rainy day at harvest, the muddy ground presents an extra obstacle to the harvest challenge. Let us rejoice in all of this hard work by gobbling it up each week! As much as I cannot wait for tomatoes and strawberries as spring and summer roll in, I think this year I will really miss that steady supply of parsnip, celeriac, leeks, brussels and other flavorful roots and veggies that make up the winter months.
The constant stream of fresh vegetables never stops despite some people's under-appreciation for winter-type vegetables.
Don't hesitate to come out for a walk in the fields even in the winter and spring. This is a beautiful time of year as we transition from winter to spring and there is always plenty to see in the farm fields even if you cannot see it from right off the road side by the farm stand. Take a little stroll and see where your winter bounty has come from!

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