Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating a foundation

Dry weather permits dirt work, thank goodness for that little false spring that occurred for the second half of January. Otherwise, this farm turns into a marsh, very rarely permitting vehicle, tractor not to mention heavy equipment onto it's heavy and rich soils. Now a foundation is being built for the barn skeleton that resides in patience nearby, ready for reassembly. Lost is it's old home, now a construction site for Sutter Hospital so changed I would not recognize the location where I wandered about picking blackberries last summer if I did not know better. We are changing history and landscapes right attention.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


What's in season? Here you go....another fun and BEAUTIFUL root. Scorzonera, AKA black salsify, is coming out of the Tierra field right now. And it is not only us, I noticed other farmer's vending scorzonera in our area this last weekend. Follow this somewhat dated link to a Mother Earth News article that will educate you further on this seasonal root vegetable.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Barn Migration

The barn is migrating it's way down the road to the Airport Blvd destination in pieces now....piles of old redwood layered more recent refurbishing=quality structural materials waiting to be reconstructed on site. Cross your fingers the field dies up enough to allow a foundation to be established for all this business! As usual, a farmer's life revolves around weather.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The season of winter is upon us...don't miss it

A typical array of Tierra goods that might be available this time in the season is shown above....this was actually Dominique's purchase last season prior to her joining the staff and committing her time and energy to the success of the farm. Included is one giant parsnip, a colorful carrot array, sunchokes, puntarella, romanesco, Sangre de Toro beans and perhaps a few beets squeezed into the back drop.

While this is a tough time in the season that always includes failures and items missing that you may desire (perfect spring lettuces or luscious summer Seascapes), it is also a time of unique bounty that must be enjoyed now before it is time to move on to other seasonal spring bounty (for instance, asparagus is not far away) and while the plants are in their winter prime. This includes items such as the chicories, or hearty winter bitter greens. Yum both raw and cooked, it is hard to get enough of these. They will not remain when warmth kicks in in another month or two. Enjoy them now! Dried beans will store, but this is a darned good time to make use of them when other things are lacking. We are thankful to have carrots remaining in stock as long as we do not sell them all and as long as they hold under wet and freezing soils....I think the deer have even started demolishing the carrot tops to some extent, the challenges never end. Pretty soon it will be time again to try the cardoon, a seasonal stalk that takes like artichoke, but looks more like celery. The winter squash do not hold forever and now is the time to enjoy storage crops like these and onions and potatoes before their storage time is up! Brassica plants like broccolis, kale, cabbages will eventually want to flower and set seeds, destroying their edibility for the most part, so these almost must be enjoyed throughout the winter period.

Brussels, celery root, parsnips, beets, and dried beans. To some it may seem like the dark period in farming, for me it is hard to begin to choose....

Enjoy your winter veggies, they are waiting to be harvested for your tables!