Unpaid Field Hand: Intimations of Spring

Unpaid Field Hand: Intimations of Spring

Editor’s Note: James wrote this Unpaid Field Hand piece before our sudden spring preview this week, but as we all know, winter likely isn’t dead just yet.

While you might be shivering quietly cursing Punxsutawney Phil and lusting for spring, the local farmers we rely on for locally grown food are already getting to work. Decisions about what to grow in 2017 are nearly complete, seed ordering is largely done, additional fruit trees and berry plants ordered, and CSA brochures for the coming season printed. The list of uncompleted tasks on the winter “to do” list is barely shorter than in December. The problem is that most of the items are “too far down on the to-do list.”

So the time has come to start getting to work. Onions are “day sensitive,” which means that in order to bulb up, they have to be already growing as the days begin to lengthen. At Jade Family Farm, John and daughter Evelyn began seeding onions in January with lettuce to begin soon.

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{name} Posted by James Eisenstein on 02/21, 2017 at 09:00 AM

Tags: UnpaidFieldHand | winter | farming |

Still lots of work to do down on the farm in winter

Still lots of work to do down on the farm in winter

As our central Pennsylvania winter slogs onward into the home stretch, have you ever wondered what vegetable/fruit farmers do during the cold months? While things slow down, farmers do not exactly sit around and watch Netflix. They have plenty of chores, and even grow and harvest things.

David Hopey, farm manager for Tait Farm, has lots to do in the winter months. Thanks to high tunnels, Tait Farm can grow more cold-hardy plants and harvest them weekly. “We are a four season farm meaning we grow and harvest crops year round,” Hopey said. “Crops grown in the winter are mainly leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula, mustard greens, claytonia, kale, collards as well as scallions and leeks. All of these crops can be grown in winter in our climate without supplemental heat. These crops are able to grow through winter so long as they are grown in hoop houses or low tunnels.”

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/16, 2017 at 11:39 AM

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Local Food Notes for Feb. 10

Local Food Notes for Feb. 10

This week’s Local Food Notes has some fun things to do for Valentines weekend and more…

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/10, 2017 at 11:34 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | ValentinesDay |

Recipe: Casserole combines the Pennsylvania flavors of apples, sauerkraut, and kielbasa

Recipe: Casserole combines the Pennsylvania flavors of apples, sauerkraut, and kielbasa

Sauerkraut is the quintessential Pennsylvania Dutch food. In William Woy Weaver’s book As American as Shoofly Pie: The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine, Weaver mentions that he has uncovered literally thousands of sauerkraut recipes that are Pennsylvania-based.

While not as popular as it once was, sauerkraut is still a big part of the Pennsylvania diet, even if it’s just as part of a good luck meal at New Year’s. But sauerkraut doesn’t have to be just for special occasions, it can be part of easy-to-make winter weeknight meals.

Sauerkraut goes well with pork, of course, but especially goes well with another Pennsylvania staple, kielbasa. The Polish sausage has a nice smoky flavor that does well with sauerkraut’s sourish tastes.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Casserole combines the Pennsylvania flavors of apples, sauerkraut, and kielbasa

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/08, 2017 at 09:26 AM

Tags: recipe | kilebasa | sauerkraut | apples |

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