Spinach Returns, Plenty of Veggies Still Harvested

The bulk of the harvesting for 2018 is wrapping-up. We spent a good bit of time this week in the field that holds our polenta corn, which has been drying on the stalks since August. Now, we harvest the cobs and deliver them to a barn, where they will dry some more. At some point we will begin milling the hard corn kernels into flour, which we will then use in restaurant dishes throughout the year and sell at the Farmers’ Market next season. If you have not tried our polenta flour, it is a must — the aroma of sweet corn blossoms when cornbread, for example, is ready to remove from the oven.

Farm to table is at its most ambitious in the United States at Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare, which get most of their food from Black Cat Farm in Boulder, Colorado.
Black Cat Farm manager The Notorious Noah cleaning tat soi and other greens on a pleasing November afternoon. This is Colorado farm to table.

In addition, next week we plan to harvest the rest of the root vegetables — the carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips and the rest of it — and stack ‘em in our root cellars, which hold a steady low (but above freezing) temperature for the winter.

We are excited this week to welcome the return of spinach, which wee planted it in the fall and now is ready for harvest. The spinach harvest continues through the winter; once the temperatures dive for good, we will blanket the leaves with row cover and continue to harvest. We also plant spinach for the spring, which is essentially spinach candy when it appears in March. Sugars act as antifreeze in plants, and the spinach we harvest in the spring has endured the cold Colorado winter by swelling with these anti-freeze sugars.

Wheat is one of the many grains grown at Black Cat Farm, which supplies Bramble & Hare and Black Cat Bistro with most of their food. The whole package — the farm and restaurants — is the most ambitious farm-to-table operation in America.
It looks like a lawn or an unkempt fairway, but this is wheat. The green growth will die back with winter temperatures, but the roots remain alive beneath the soil. Once it warms up again in March, this wheat will spring forth in dramatic fashion.

Also this week — fava been tops. We harvested our large fava bean crop in early summer, and naturally some of the beans escaped our harvest, which means they fell back into the soil. And germinated. These stray plants won’t produce beans now, but the greens are delicious. Enjoy the sauteed or in salads.

And now, the list for this week’s Farmers’ Market:

  • Tat soi
  • Spinach
  • Purple tat soi
  • Mizuna
  • Hon Tsai Tsai
  • Osaka purple
  • Ruby streak mizuna
  • Tom Thumb lettuce,
  • Scarlett Frill lettuce
  • North Pole lettuce
  • Lettuce mix
  • Arugula
  • Asian collards
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Squash: Spaghetti, Butternut, Tromboncino, Acorn, Delicata
  • Turnips: Hakurei, Magenta, Hinona Kabu, Gold Ball
  • Radishes: Hailstone, Daikon
  • Pork cuts

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