ShopTalk - Winter Share
a home Base For Shareholders
January - Distribution Month #2
January Distribution Hours
January 2 - 8 (Mon-Sun) - 8am - 7pm
January 16 - 22 (Mon-Sun) - 8am - 7pm
(you can still get the newsletter the usual way - just scroll below for our .pdf archive)
CONDITIONS In THE CELLAR
Stayin' Fresh through the Frosts!
The cellar is now 40F and 95% humidity (eventually dropping to it's ideal of 36F and 95%). Here's the current view of our storage crops:
Carrot, Beet, Celeriac, Rutabaga, Gilfeather Turnip, Storage Radish (Black, Watermelon, Daikon): All storing well, though the daikon won't hold many more weeks, so get some while it's here!
Potatoes: Lots of sweets! Many of the white potatoes are very small - try them whole in stews.
Cabbage: We are still moving through the small to medium sized cabbages. If you do get a cabbage with a rotten outer leaf, simply peel it off and put the cabbage in the fridge.
Onions, Garlic: We'll have garlic through January and a limited supply of onions through March.
Winter Squash: After the last Buttercup and Pie Pumpkins go this week, we'll have Butternut in the share into March.
Kale & Collards: There are still kale and collards in the field, buried or unburied in snow every few days. The texture has changed due to the variable weather and cold, but the taste is great when cooked. At this point, these crops won't last much longer so feel free to take the top leaves off the plant.
REcipe of The MONTH
What's happening at the farm
Pic of the Month
Winter Share General Info
Get Ready For A Great Winter of Eating!
If you are new to the winter share (or just want a refresher), please read on for some answers to frequently asked questions.
Welcome to our root cellar! This space was created in 2004 to be an environmentally sustainable food storage space for a large amount of local produce. It uses minimal electricity to keep cold. The cooling power of the earth (and one single fan to keep, powered by photovoltaics, to keep air circulating) keeps over 40,000 lbs of organic / biodynamic vegetables stored safely for at least four months. There's a few things you'll need to get used to (cleaning dirty veggies, coming down to the cellar, picking through lugs of unsorted veggies), but for the most part, people have found this experience easy to get used to, economical, and delicious all winter long.
After twelve winters we have learned how to use our cellar and are very confident that we will have great food for you all the way through March. Here's a few things you might be wondering which may help make your winter share a fantastic way to stay fed all winter long....
How do I get my share?
Just like in our regular share, we will post the amounts of each crop to take on one chalkboard in the cellar. All amounts will be either by volume (bags provided or please your own re-usable bag of a similar size), by the piece, or by weight (use the hanging scale next to the table). Each crop is marked with a sign, in case it's difficult to identify and there is a map on the other chalk board to help you find everything. We will stock the cellar every couple of hours. If you find the lugs looking a little low, feel free to open the bags behind the lugs and help yourself. We will try to keep the lugs filled. In addition, we will have locally produced items for sale (yogurt, eggs, syrup, greens, etc) on the tables in the cellar. You can pay for these items by dropping cash into the black "how-we-doing!?" box, or by sending a check to Brookfield Farm (address above).
When can I pick up my share?
The root cellar will be open every other week (from Mon - Sun) to pick up your share. The distribution calendar is posted on our website. All posted share amounts are for a single share. If you only want to come to the cellar once a month (every other distribution) feel free to take double the posted amount. Please check off your name on the clipboard (on the table). If you take a month's worth of produce, please mark down for two distributions. Using this check-off sheet will help us keep track of our vegetable stocks and make sure that we have plenty of food for the entire winter.
What do I do with all of this food?
If you feel like you get more than will fit in your fridge, don't worry! In general everything in this root cellar will keep best if it's kept around 34F and 95% humidity. The closest place to approximate this in your home besides your fridge, is in your garage or an unheated part of your basement. A little insulation (foam, sand, blankets) is all you need to make sure that your crops won’t freeze. If you have a couple of buckets or boxes to drop the produce in and then a wool blanket to cover them, in a cold spot (garage, etc) they should be just fine. These crops are HARDY – that’s why they store well. We have lots of recipes on the website to help make your winter cooking interesting and delicious.
This stuff is dirty!
We don’t wash the roots because they keep better that way and we don't have the facilities to wash them in the winter without freezing our pipes and/or our hands! Put them into the fridge (without washing). When you are ready to use them, scrub them with a veggie brush, and they'll be all set. If you are going to eat the carrots raw, and want them bright shiny orange, you will need to peel them. Yes, that will take some of the nutrients away (with the skin), but we consider that a small price to pay for organic carrots, stored with no refrigeration, for sweet eating into March!
How is this working for you?
If you ever have a question or comment, don't hesitate to call, email, or leave a note in our "How We Doing?" black box on the table in the cellar. One of our goals for the winter is to get some rest after a long season of farm work so you might not see us around all that often. Still, we will probably be around the office during the day, and certainly every morning at 8am during our distribution weeks. We want you to let us know how things are going as we are very committed to making this winter share work for you and your family.