First things first, because of the very cold temperatures, we will not be at the Ann Arbor market this Saturday. Never fear, you can still find our delicious winter bounty in Chelsea.Come Sunday, this cold streak is going to abate momentarily, likely leading us back to the outdoor market in Ann Arbor.
CSA members that order for pickup in Stockbridge, be on the lookout for the order form!
The cold is an interesting experience on the farm. I am happy to see that our big walk-in cooler is able to maintain temperatures in the safe zone. The fingertips of freeze are creeping in next to the door and along the wall but the bulk of the space is holding well. The greens in the hoop house are at a complete standstill. I think they are going to survive, but the plants are still small and are growing at a snails pace both because of light restrictions and because of the deep cold. I can't be sure when they will offer us some edible leaves. Washing vegetables for market happens outside. This means rolling out the hose, waterproofing myself, and working quickly to keep everything from being seized by ice. It is working okay but I think an indoor wash station may be in our hopefully not to distant future.
I have to remind myself that even though the idea of the world out there is cold, to bundle up and get out there. To look around and see what the amazing wild things are doing. The snow hushes the visual noise of the world and showcases select items. The birds are eating weed seeds (thank you!) and others seeds. The grasses are leaning over and tracing semicircles in the snow. The old bird nests are snow capped and obvious.
Just before this cold came in, Jim and I hustled to finish the hoop house. The project was completed Tuesday the 26th, on the first of the most frigid days, and by Thursday, it was inspected and given the nod by our NRCS agent Jeff. We were relieved both because we were no longer working outside when the brrrrr hit and because we met our end of year deadline. Hoop houses are great for winter growing, true, but they are also great for getting early crops, keeping crops healthy by preventing exposure, and growing heat loving crops. Since the new hoop house is gigantic and we have an existing one of the same size plus two pint-sized ones, next year I won't have to choose between growing tomatoes or cucurbits in the hoop. We have enough space we can do both. We are going to grow so much food in there! And hoop city is looking like a real metropolis.
With the completion of this whale of hoop we have reached a clearing in the frenzied activity of growing a farm business. It took a solid three day count before I felt the relief rising from the projects completion. We have officially been in Michigan for a year and have been on the move nonstop for the last two. For now, there are no big construction projects on the horizon, no big moves, not even any crazy new purchases, nothing new except a fresh season. Thanks to the lull in all things farm expansion, I feel like I can look at our upcoming season with focus and intention. It feels great.
Jim and I have been using the deep freeze to squirrel deep into planning. We are reviewing growing systems and coming up with plans to do better by our land and the creatures that live here, ourselves included. We are also attempting to put systems in place to promote healthy habits when the growing season is full tilt. More will be revealed when some clarified details manifest. Until then, I am incredibly grateful for the slowed pace, the opportunity to take stock.
Cabbage: Green, red, pointy, round, crinkly, smooth, ALL DELICIOUS!
Carrots: Orange, White, Yellow, and some sneaky purples
Kohlrabi: Beastly beauties. I have been cubing and roasting them and can't get enough. I don't even peel the little ones!
Potatoes: White, red skinned, and fingerlings!
Radishes: Loose daikon, green meat (sweet daikon), black, watermelon
Winter squash: Long pie, spaghetti, butternut
Turnips- Purple Top, golden globe, and a sweet white ruta-turnip
*We send this email out before harvest, and although we do our very best to make accurate predictions, crops and quantities found at market may vary.
All the best!
Helen, Jim, Exie the dog, and the Lake Divide Farm Crew!
Markets, always rain or shine!
(we begin attending on dates listed above)
Saturday: Ann Arbor and Chelsea
The Ann Arbor Market is located in the Kerrytown District at 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI. The market runs from May thru December, 7 am to 3 pm and January thru April from 8 am to 3 pm.
The Chelsea Farmers' Market is in the cafeteria of the Washington Street Education Center at 500 Washington Street in Chelsea, It runs November through March from 9 am to 1 pm.