This time of year the food starts coming on faster than we can pick it. And like all farmers who grow a product they enjoy I eat, eat, eat! (I’ve known some farmers who wouldn’t even eat their own produce, they sprayed so many chemicals on it…but that’s a blog for another day.)
Last night I had 5 different vegetables with our Three Sisters hamburgers. And then I realized this morning when I got up I STILL had forgotten to serve the delicious first-of-the-season sweet and tender beets I had cooked up. Oh well…Beets for breakfast! (and spinach, and Walla onions too I think…).
As a small farmer selling direct to the you, the hungry public, I am continually asked for more produce, more variety, more availability basically just more-more-more in the off-season. And in the 14 (or is it 15 now?) years I’ve been doing this, I would say our off-season selection (both from my farm and the many other local farms) have expanded 100% with room to expand another 200% (or more!) and plans to do so. Yet….that still doesn’t mean that my farm (and the many others here on Whidbey) have an overwhelming bounty in the high season. In all my years doing this, I’ve found that yes, I CAN grow a bag of mesclun in February but let me tell you…it is about 20x harder, takes about 10x longer, and it a LOT more expensive to do than in June, when the mesclun practically grows itself.
So…what am I trying to say to you…my loyal farm followers? Well what I’m trying to say is…IT’S TIME TO EAT! And if you are so inclined, don’t just eat but preserve. Can, freeze, dehydrate, pickle….Do whatever you can to enjoy and extend the bounty for later. (True farmer confession, I’m terrible at finding the time to can or even pickle for that matter. I do tend to freeze a fair amount of things. But this year, my spring promise to myself is I WILL DO BETTER this year. I’m not any different than you in craving that height of the season tomato goodness in February. And if I can get around to putting up a few tomatoes when they are on later in August then I can enjoy them come February!).
So come out to Coupeville or Bayview market today (or if you missed it, we have salad greens now at Prairie Center in Coupeville, the Goose in Bayview and Payless in Freeland) enjoy the increasing bounty while it’s fresh and easy. Think about putting up whatever you can for when it isn’t so easy. Because remember “seasonal” means now but not then. And eat. Eat! Eat! Eat! (it’s veggies…they’re good for ya!).
So the bounty at market today includes…
* Mesclun * Arugula * Spinach (gorgeous red-veined variety, only available in spring and fall!) * Radishes * Raab * White AND Pink Japanese salad turnips * Baby Carrots (so sweet, I’m calling them orange candy sticks!) * Red and Chioggia beets with greens * Kale * Chard * Head Lettuce * Fresh Garlic * Walla salad onions * Scallions * Kohlrabi and at Bayview Market Mikey from Whidbey Green Goods is bringing beefsteak tomatoes from Hedlin Farms in LaConner (they have these amazing heated greenhouses, I’m jealous!!!!). And I hear a rumor that local strawberries will be showing up at market today! (Bayview at least, I haven’t heard about Coupeville yet!).