Our Final Winter Market
Come to the Norwich Farmers' Market at Tracy Hall this Saturday 1/28 from 10am-1pm! This is our final market for the winter season! This weekend you can stock up on beautiful sweet potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, kohlrabi, onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
You'll want to grab a bag of our sweet carrots and colorful beets, plus our freshly picked winter spinach! Pick up a quart of our kimchi, sauerkraut and honey too! See you at the market!
Sweet and Bitter
Winter arrived suddenly and looks like it's here to stay! Our fields are covered in snow, and the temperatures are forecasted to drop to the single digets over the next week. The good news is that we still have plenty of delicious food to fill our CSA boxes and market table. Join us at the Farmers' Market this Saturday at Tracy Hall in Norwich from 10am-2pm. (Note extended hours for the holiday market).
Have you ever wondered why vegetables are so sweet this time of year? When temperatures drop and frost hits, only the heartiest of plants are equipped to survive. The adaptation that keeps them from dying in the cold also makes them sweet and delicious. Some hardy vegetables have the abiltiy to convert some of their starch stores into sugar, and this keeps the water in their cells from freezing. So, relish their survival skills and enjoy the sweet taste of our winter carrots, cabbage, kale, spinach, swiss chard, kohlrabi, broccolini, and even parsley! You can pick up these vegetables at our market table on Saturday!
Check out this remarkable radicchio! We harvested them this morning from underneath the snow! Radicchio can survive uncovered in the field even when it's 20 degrees outside. This member of the chicory genus is loved for it's bitterness and incredibly fresh, bright flavor during this cold, dark, and snowy time of year. One of the best and easiest ways to explore the taste of bitter is through chicories. Pick up some raddichio at the market and try one of these recipes from NYTimes Cooking this week.
Our CSA Shares are still going strong with two more weeks left to go! This week you may have been uncertain about the mysterious, big, round green vegetable in your box. If you're not familiar with kohlrabi, don't be afraid! Simply peel the skin off and slice a piece to try a taste. It's incredibly sweet and crispy, and it's very versitile in the kitchen. You can eat it raw, saute, or roast. Learn more about kohlrabi on our website.
We're excited to have a new batch of kimchi ready for market this weekend! Our kimchi is a truly a labor of love, we grow each of the ingredients- cabbage, carrots, scallions, onions, garlic, ginger, and hot peppers- and we hand chop, mix, and ferment the vegetables in small batches. Our favorite way to eat kimchi is right out of the container! Pick some up at the market this weekend!
Our Love for Winter Squash
This is the time of year when so many varieties of winter squash are available and at their best. Winter squash are some of the most delicious, nutritious, and versatile ingredients of the season. Winter squash are loaded with antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C. They also contain folate and omega 3 fatty acids! There are so many ways to prepare squash and they're easy to store. You can extend the season just by keeping a box of squash in a cool dry space in your own home.
We'll have all of our winter squash varieties on display at the Fairlee Market on Friday 3-6pm and the Saturday Norwich Farmers' Market 9-1pm. These are our final outdoor markets of the season! Come try a new variety this week! You can also order additional quantities to store your own for winter by emailing Danielle.
We grow nine different varieties of winter squash because they each have their own unique cooking qualities and storability! You can find a simple guide to the many varieties we grow on our website.
Delicata squash is one of the first to ripen in the field and it doesn't keep as long as other winter squash, so we try to use them up first. Delicata is one of our fall favorites because it's so simple and satisfying to cook up for a weeknight meal. You don't have to peel the tender skin, you can simply slice them into circles and roast in the oven.
Another one of our favorite this season is this mini butternut called "honeynut". These are the perfect portion size, just slice in half, scoop out the seeds, roast in the oven and you've got a meal. The flavor and texture of this squash is really outstanding! We love the story of how honeynut came into being and we think you will too!
Kabocha is another amazing squash variety, not to be overlooked. This late ripening variety has very dense, dry flesh that's remarkably sweet with a nice nutty flavor. Kabocha squash is very versatile in the kitchen, it can be roasted, steamed, or simmered into a smooth creamy soup. The skin is also tender enough to eat if you don't want to peel it. One of our late winter favorites is "winter sweet" grey kabocha because they continue to sweeten and the flavors improve after two months in storage.
Check out Ali's latest recipe Squash Apple Cheddar Soup. This hearty fall soup will warm you up! We recommend trying it with Buttercup or Kabocha squash this week!
Final Winter Market
Our final farmers' market for the winter is this Saturday 10-1pm at Tracy Hall in Norwich. This is your last chance until spring to stock up on our sauerkraut, kimchi, spinach, carrots, butternut squash, radishes, heirloom dry beans, onions, shallots, and garlic.
There will be 30+ vendors at the Norwich Winter Farmers' Market on Saturday, offering a wide variety of winter vegetables, meats, baked goods, hot drinks, prepared foods, and unique crafts. The market is a great place for connections — to your food, to the winter season, to your neighbors and your community. We look forward to seeing you there!
Our fields are frozen and snow covered so we've been busy in the office, putting together orders for seeds and supplies and setting up our field maps for the coming season. We have a long to do list for the winter months, this is our time to get organized and set up systems for the new growing season. It's hard to believe, but we're only seven weeks away from our first greenhouse seeding date in early March!
New Year News
We're very proud to announce, after a 3 year process, we've conserved our 28 acre farm with the Vermont Land Trust! The conservation of the farmland will ensure it's always available and affordable for farmers, and the productive soils will forever be protected from development. Learn more about the Vermont Land Trust conservation process here.
Stop by the Norwich Winter Farmers' Market this Saturday, January 9th, from 10-1pm. We'll have a selection of delicious winter greens available- kale, spinach, collards, bok choy, and Belgian endive! We'll also have four varieties of Powerkraut- original, carrot cabbage, purple cabbage, and kimchi. You can stock up on carrots, beets, radishes, winter squash, onions, shallots, garlic, and heirloom dry beans.
We're especially excited about our first crop of Belgian endive, which we'll have available at the market on Saturday! Endives are crisp and bitter when raw, making them a great addition to brighten up salads this time of year. When cooked, endive's bright flavor softens into a mellow sweetness. Whether raw, steamed, grilled or braised, they're a versatile ingredient for your winter kitchen.
Our CSA season finished off strong at the end of December with a wide variety of winter foods. We're so grateful to our CSA members for their commitment to Root 5 Farm and for joining us in the adventures of seasonal cooking and eating. We're already busy working out the details of the new season. Our 2016 CSA sign-ups will begin in February, so please stay tuned!
It's market time! We'll be at the Norwich Farmers' Market on Saturday 12/12 from 10-2pm. Note extended hours for the holiday market. There will be over 40 vendors selling fresh vegetables, meats, baked goods and unique crafts so you can feed your family, fill the pantry, and find gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Don't miss it!
In preparation for the market we're busy packing heirloom dry beans, sauerkraut, kimchi, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, acorn, butternut, honey nut, kabocha, and delicata squashes. We're also harvesting radishes, spinach, kale, collards, thyme and winter savory.
Winter is when spinach is really at it's best. We grow ours in unheated, high-tunnel greenhouses where it undergoes a freeze-thaw cycle almost every night. This concentrates its sweetness and creates a flavor that is complex and rich with minerals. Check out these recipes for two simple and delicious ways to enjoy sweet winter spinach: Leek and Spinach Soup, Spinach and Parmesan Egg Drop Soup.
Our truck is packed with 120 CSA shares for Tuesday delivery and John double checks the list just before he heads out. In November and December, we use one of our greenhouses as a warm space to pack shares on freezing days.
CSA shares are still going strong. Check out this week's selection: blue potatoes, baby carrots, winter sweet kabocha squash, garlic, sweet potatoes, spinach, and yellow onions. Here's a few of our current favorite winter vegetable recipes: Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes, Kabocha Squash Soup, Tri-Colored Roasted Potatoes.
Short days, chasing the sun...
Early November has been beautiful in its own way, with frosty mornings giving way to brilliant sunny harvest days. We're continually chasing the sun at the end of our work day, wishing for it to stay around just a little longer and keep us warm.
The afternoon sun shines under our hat brims, and it's only 3 o'clock! Our fields are still so green with cover crops of rye and vetch, oats and peas, and clover. We plant a variety of cover crops in the early fall to protect the soil from erosion and build nutrients in the off season while we take a rest, phew!
We're excited to be improving our irrigation system this fall. Benner and Micah have been surveying to establish new buried water lines and hydrants. Micah has become an expert with the backhoe, digging 4' deep trenches to stay below frost line.
We'll be at the Winter Farmers' Market at Tracy Hall in Norwich this Saturday from 10am-1pm with a full spread of roots, greens, winter squash, and herbs for your Thanksgiving table. Also, don't miss our newest batch of kimchi and sauerkraut!
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving from our crew to yours!
The harvest continues...
The unusually warm weather this week was such a pleasant surprise. Our shitake mushroom logs are now covered in beautiful mushrooms, a final spurt of growth before the real cold sets in. We're bringing them with us to the Norwich market on Saturday to share with you!
We move indoors on Saturday for the start of the Winter Farmers' Market. Stop by between 10am-1pm at Tracy Hall at 300 Main Street in Norwich. We'll have a full table of fresh herbs, carrots, beets, turnips, kale, spinach, arugula, lettuce, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, garlic, leeks, radishes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, plus the last of our ginger and turmeric!
Fall CSA Shares are going strong, full of a wide variety of vegetables and herbs. This week we harvested leeks, Red Russian kale, napa cabbage, lettuce mix, and rosemary. We also packed red beets and sweet potatoes.
Our high tunnels are full of beautiful greens that will be ready to harvest for December CSA and markets. We have row cover ready to pull over the beds to protect them on cold nights.
While the daytime temperatures are still above freezing, we're out in the fields harvesting the last of our cold hardy salad greens, leeks, brussel sprouts, kale and cabbages.
New and Unusual
Many people are surprised to learn that we can grow ginger in Vermont! This was our first foray into growing this incredible rhizome, and we've had great success! We started the seed pieces in our greenhouse on heat mats in early spring. Then we planted one experimental bed in our high tunnel. It's slow growing and takes the full season to size up, so we just started harvesting beautiful "young" ginger in early October.
The fresh young ginger we grow here in Vermont is juicy and plump, with a pink blush. It's mild and tender enough to eat raw in salads, and it has an almost translucent skin that doesn’t need peeling; you can practically rub it off. We have a few ginger storage tips and recipe ideas here.
Belgian Endive is another unusual crop we're experimenting with this year. This crop is unique because we direct seed in the early spring, grow the plants all season long, and then harvest the roots in late fall- but after all that work, it's still not ready to eat! We store the roots like carrots and then force them later in the winter to grow tender leafy "chicons". We think Endive will be a welcome off-season leafy vegetable that will add diversity to our market table and CSA shares.
Last week we harvested our amazing late season green cabbages, each head weighs 15-20lbs! We brought 2,000 lbs of cabbage to the Food Venture Center to make our first batch of certified organic sauerkraut for the new season. Chop, salt, pack, wait! The kraut takes several weeks to ferment before we begin packaging for sale at market.
We have a new batch of Spicy Kimchi that's ready for market this Saturday. We grew the napa cabbage, carrots, scallions, ginger, garlic, onions, and cayenne peppers for our own small batch handcrafted seasonal Kimchi! It's deeeelicious! Come try a taste at the market!
Bundle up and stop by our final outdoor markets of the season through the end of October:
Chapman's in Fairlee on Friday's October 23rd & 30th, 3-5:30pm.
Norwich Farmers' Market on Saturday's October 24th & 31st, 9-1pm.
In November we move indoors for the Norwich Winter Market in Tracy Hall.
October is an amazing time to eat local seasonal foods; we have a wide selection of tasty roots, winter squash varieties, plenty of fresh greens and herbs, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, leeks, ground cherries, tomatillos, and hot peppers all available at our markets. Plus where else can you get local ginger, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fresh eggs?
We hope to see you at the market!
We're grateful for a beautiful summer that's resulted in a bountiful harvest, and we're on track to keep delivering a diverse supply of our fresh, organic produce through December.
We're growing over 140 varieties of organic vegetables to satisfy every taste and introduce new ones. Right now we're harvesting five different varieties of tasty tender beans- green, yellow, burgundy, purple, and Italian broad beans.
The market table is full of color and variety with mountains of rainbow root vegetables getting taller, and summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and tomatoes are all in great supply.
Our fall crops are starting to size up nicely. We've been keeping the irrigation running through hot and dry spells to cool off our fall plantings of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, lettuces, and herbs.
We're jumping with joy about our winter squash this season! Our field looks great, and we've got so many varieties that will be ready to harvest for Fall CSA Shares.
If you haven't already, sign up now for a Root 5 Farm Fall CSA Share. It's a great way to eat fresh, eat local, and eat healthy. Visit www.root5farm.com to sign up today! Fall Shares start on September 7th!