Winter harvests

Here are some snapshots of a few winter harvest we are enjoying on the farm at the moment…

Dangling some carrots

Dangling some carrots

There are few things as delicious as an over-wintered carrot. The slip nip of the colder temps causes the carrots to become sweeter (stress = more sugar production). Crunchy and sweet? Perfect.

Kennebec tater

Kennebec tater

A cozy layer of straw mulch helps protect these spuds (and 3 other varieties) from the sun and the nip of frost. Other than the pups digging them up in pursuit of voles, we will be dining off of these guys well into the spring/early summer.

Dent corn

Dent corn

The corn in this photo is called “Bloody Butcher,” an  heirloom dent corn dating from the mid 1800s and likely was traded between settlers and Native Americans. Dent corn was used mainly for grinding into meal or flour, but it can be roasted or fried (is a sweet corn) as well. Mostly, it is used for decorative purposes today. Here is a little story from NPR entitled “On The Trail To Preserve Appalachia’s Bounty Of Heirloom Crops” that gives a slightly regional perspective on this historical variety.

I have been looking into home mills. I am interested in trying my hand at grinding some of these kernels into a flour or meal. Anyone try that before? Regardless, this variety is a staple in our garden for its beauty and history.

Pickled beets

Pickled beets

These jars full of burgundy goodness have become a winter staple for us. Pickled beets. They are zingy, textured and simply delicious. This season wasn’t our best beet crop, but what was left over was all harvested and canned. It was the top item on my to-do list this month. To think I hated beets all my life until I started growing them. Beets from a tin can (what we grew up with) DO NOT COMPARE to fresh beets. And THESE canned beets are miles above all. Served on their own as a side or sliced onto greens with a pungent cheese and vinaigrette dressing…beets are on the winter menu often.



Roasted fingerling potatoes & green bean recipe

Stringless green beans

Stringless green beans

With these guys coming in fast and strong, it’s time for a green bean recipe.

Here is one that sounded good (from Southern Living):

Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper, divided

1/2 pound tiny green beans (haricot verts) [or why not regular green beans?]

Creamy Tarragon Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in green onion and tarragon. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days. Let chilled dressing stand 30 minutes before using.


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut fingerlings in half lengthwise, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place potato halves, cut sides up, in a jelly-roll pan. Toss green beans with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and place in another jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake potatoes at 425° for 30 to 32 minutes or until tender and browned. Remove from oven, and let potatoes stand in pan.

3. Bake green beans at 425° for 12 minutes.

4. Arrange green beans around roasted potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with Creamy Tarragon Dressing.

*1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes, halved, may be substituted with a bake time of 35 minutes. 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, quartered, may be substituted with a bake time of 40 minutes.

Copyright © 2015 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved.

January thaw…

We had sunshine and warmer temperatures today. Enough of a warm-up to finally thaw the ground.

Thank goodness! The pantry was getting low, and it was time for a harvest…

Crisp, crunchy and oh so sweet

Crisp, crunchy and oh so sweet

Our winter favorites…carrots. Crisp. Crunchy and oh, so sweet. Napoli, Nelson and Romance.



Hanging on under row cover, Hakurei salad turnips.



Also hanging on under row covers, Chioggia and Red Ace beets.



Finally! A resupply of potatoes – French Fingerling, Red Gold and Kennebecs. YUM!

A very good day today.