Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter harvest

I like winter!

I like the more relaxed pace of life - a welcome relief from the summer's gruelling schedule.
I like that the work can usually be done today ... or tomorrow ... or even next week.
The constant push of the harvest is just a memory!

So when there is talk of growing & harvesting crops throughout the winter (an increasingly common practise), I get really uncomfortable.
I enjoy the seasonality of our farm - planting, growing, and harvesting in spring, summer and fall.
Not winter!
Winter is for catching our breath, relaxing, planning, dreaming, rejuvenating ourselves.

As long as we just grew fruit, winter farming was never an issue. Fruit trees are set in their ways and only produce in the summer. The winter was for pruning not picking.

When vegetables were added to our farm, we could push the seasons. What & how could we grow & harvest sooner in spring and later in fall? With many farmers' markets now opening sooner and closing later in the year, stretching the harvest season becomes a necessity.

And so the other day I was out picking spinach - fresh from the garden.
Our last seeding of lettuces & spinach was so beautiful in fall, that in a moment of weakness we covered it - just to see what would happen.

With our incredibly mild winter so far, it has done very well.

Of course, even the greens left uncovered are still looking pretty good.
We're still digging carrots too. And then there's the kale ...

I have mixed feelings about it all. While very exciting to be picking fresh greens in January, do we really even want to consider doing it on a larger scale? Should we start thinking winter CSA?

I guess I'm getting old - and probably lazy too!
Perhaps I should lie down, have a rest, and think about it some more.