Today: Apr 04 , 2020

Whipstone Farm: The Pace of Winter
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11 January 2020   Shanti Rade

Winter weeks on the Farm.

Winter weeks go by so much differently than summer weeks. They feel slower. Yet with the weather interruptions, the shorter days and shorter work hours, the speed at which your hands can actually function in the cold and the propensity to get inside as soon as possible and sit by the wood stove, wow we sure do get a lot less done. That's ok - to every season . . . In winter, however we spend a lot of time evaluating systems, setting goals, budgeting, making roadmaps to success and pouring over seed catalogs - and sometimes while all of that doesn't feel like real 'work' - it truly is necessary for growth. So that's where we are at. The growth may feel slow and but the seeds are being sown, literally and metaphorically.

Thanks for all of your comments last week with ideas on our goal towards zero (less) waste. First of all, just a clarification. I do not want you all to return your bags to me. I don't think the health department looks kindly up us reusing bags to pre-package produce in. But I would love for you to save the bags and reuse them yourself! We do want to try to reduce/eliminate the produce that we actually sell pre-bagged, so that we can take that step out of the process all together. This will take some time and experimentation to see what works, so please bear with us and give us your feedback and ideas. I am so appreciative of all the interest and effort you all put in. So, thank you. We will continue to work on this effort and make changes and share resources and suggestions.

Lots of you mentioned buying and using reusable mesh or muslin produce bags such as this or this - that is a great place to start. We plan to experiment with some bulk (bag your own) salad mixes this year and these would be great for bagging up your own produce at market. From what I hear they are great for storing root veggies and firmer produce, but tender greens and leafy things might do better in a plastic bag or tupperware container once you get them home. I hear great things about these green bags, which you could reuse many times over (though I haven't used them myself) as well as these compostable plastic bags. Just some ideas to get you started. Keep the conversation flowing.

If you have been feeling the severe lack of flowers lately as I have, I have a treat for you. We potted up a bunch of amaryllis bulbs this fall with the hope to have them close to blooming by Christmas. Well we missed the mark by a little bit - but now they are all starting to bloom. A nice pick-me-up for the post holiday, mid-winter slump. These giant bulbs produce one to two flower stems, each with 4-6 long lasting blooms on them. They are sold in pots (not the prettiest pots, you may want to transfer them to something nicer). Once the flowers bloom and fade, the plant will grow some leaves. You can keep it going as a house plant for a few months. You can put the pot outside once the weather warms up or leave it inside, it only needs to be watered very occasionally. Eventually you should let the plant dry up and go dormant for a few months. In the late fall, bring it inside, water it once to "wake it up" and you can get this flower to re-bloom for you around Christmas or mid winter. There are many more details here on how to keep your amaryllis growing. We also have some fragrant, almost ready to bloom, paperwhites for sale. I hope you will enjoy these are much as I have.

Oh, we planted carrots this week - when the soil moisture was just perfect, then we had a nice light dusting of snow. Never a dull moment around here.

the most perfect, fluffy carrots planting soil - reminds me of brownie mix


All kinds of babies popping up in the greenhouse

Including the onions

Gophers tunneling under the garlic, exposing some beautiful root growth

lovely amaryllis

We just planted our sweet peas out two weeks ago. They don't look like much right now.
But I can't wait for them to look like this again.
I can only hope they will do as well as they did last year.

AT THE MARKET THIS WEEK

Vegetables

spinach
mâche
beets - red, chioggia, tricolor
carrots - orange and rainbow
scallions
leeks
onions - red and yellow
garlic
cilantro
potatoes - red and ozette fingerling
winter squash - butternut, spaghetti

Recipes

Creamy parsnip and cauliflower bisque

Bourbon and Honey Roasted Carrots with cayenne and feta

Mâche, blood orange and balsamic vinaigrette salad

Butternut Squash-Collard Green Brushetta

Winter Vegetable Slaw with coconut-lime sauce

WHERE TO FIND US

WHIPSTONE FARM website

PRESCOTT FARMERS MARKET (winter hours) - Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm. Yavapai College Parking Lot.

FLAGSTAFF COMMUNITY MARKET - CLOSED until May of 2020 . Sundays 8:00 - Noon. City Hall West Parking Lot

FARM STAND - Open daily at the farm, self serve, honor system directions HERE