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Hutten Family Farm Newsletter for Monday Jan 14, 2013

     I thought that twelve degrees celsius was a decent day for the middle of January. We spent a bit of time picking some very tiny and sweet spinach leaves today in an unheated coldframe.  When spinach is grown without any heat in the winter it is unusually tasty.  The very first small leaves are quite thick and fleshy but also very tender. Tomorrow I plan to pick pea shoots and some mixed lettuce leaves in the heated greenhouse to mix in with the baby spinach. This will be the salad offering this week in the CSA boxes. The micro mix that I usually have in the winter is more peppery and pungent because the brassica type plants will grow more easily in the low day length of winter. Hopefully this weeks sweeter greens will be a nice change. The micro mix greens will return the following week.
     I am still spending most of my time washing and packing root vegetables and packing apples. I spend about ten to fifteen hours each week in the coldframes and the heated greenhouse either picking, weeding, or seeding more greens. I have spent a couple days in the woodlot cutting firewood which also needs to be done.  This is the time of year when we are often pruning the apple trees although I have yet to begin. My mother has been pruning in the orchards since Christmas and I suspect that she is trying to give me a hint. I get the hint but I'm still too busy to start myself.
     Just a reminder that the CSA boxes (totes) need to be returned each week when you pick up your next box. Even every couple of weeks would be fine. I have not yet figured out how to grow rubbermaid totes. We need to buy them.
     We are now in the midwinter season and the most difficult time for us to keep the CSA interesting. We are near the end of our kale. I suspect that leeks and brussels sprouts will hold out for another month or so. Some types of winter squash are running out now. Carrots, parsnips, winter radishes, some cabbages, turnips, sweet potatoes, and burdock root are still in decent supply in the coolers and storage. We still have good apples but pears are nearing the end within a month. Spinach, arugula, and mixed greens should start to grow in the coldframes by the middle of February and should be plentiful by the end of the same month. Hopefully this gives everyone some idea of what to expect, what to anticipate, or maybe what to fear (turnips?).
     Have a good week.

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