Greetings from the farm—and welcome to February! This is always a month of contradictions here at the farm, as we see both days of wintery rain, sleet or snow and then a few early glimpses of spring and blue skies, too. Now in full bloom, the fragrant yellow witch hazel and delicate snowdrops make us smile each time we pass by, as do the tiny shoots of green courageously poking out the soil here and there.
On drier days, the resident animals will venture outside their warm, straw-lined stalls and coops. The ‘girls’, still thick with their winter coats, nibble on hay, alfalfa, and tidbits of grass, lazily ruminating under the eaves of the barn, then clamoring to say hello and get a treat when we go by; the donkey lazes in his paddock; and Windy the sheep is content to share the barn with the “girls” in the evenings. We, too, try to take advantage of the longer afternoons, getting compost prepped for spring gardening, gathering herbs from the greenhouse, checking seed starting supplies and finishing up the last seed orders.
Much of this time of year is still spent in the warm and cozy farmhouse kitchen. On Wednesdays, we are busy prepping the weekly box deliveries. February is prime season for hearty and healthy root vegetables and winter storage crops (no doubt you’ve noticed from the plethora in your box each week!) and though these veggies are perhaps less well known than their summer companions, they are true examples of what it is to eat seasonally in the Northwest. This is why the theme and tone of your box changes as we capture a snapshot of each unique growing season—even this one, chock-full of ‘dirt-lovers’ such as carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips and hardy greens like kale and chard, and the many varied types of winter squash.
As we wait for spring to arrive, we’ll be busy looking for new and delicious ways to enjoy our roots and winter greens—be sure to keep checking our weekly recipes for suggestions. Here are a few of our recent favorites to tide you over until spring truly arrives:
Spicy Honey-Glazed Parsnips
Drizzled with chili-honey butter, this roasted parsnip recipe from Bon Appetit is a real winner.
These delightful beets from Rick Rodgers’ The Big Book of Sides are sure to be a new favorite.
Braised Root Vegetables & Cabbage with Fruit
This ingenious recipe from Food & Wine boasts extra flavor thanks to the addition of apples and pears.