Chilly days here but we’re staying warm! Jack Frost visited us the other night and left these lovely etchings on the hoop house door window. Natalie, our Annuals Grower, did a great job this past fall with staggering the winter plantings through September and October so we have good successions of fresh greens emerging s-l-o-w-l-y as the winter progresses, allowing us to harvest some more tender greens. Today, we transplanted some spinach seedlings into the beds, filling in some spots that saw low germination. It was SO nice to get our hands in the dirt after a few long, cold, dark weeks. Sun is in the forecast for a little while…hooray! Luckily, Dan has helped us stay warm with his non-stop baking… Thanks again Dan!
OH, and… CONGRATULATIONS NATALIE and SCOTT!!! We are expecting a new farm baby in late May!!! Kiva will have to learn to share.
Winter Solstice has passed. Napoli Carrots are super sweet with the cold weather we’ve been having, and the restaurants that have been buying them are loving it. Steamboat has doubled its population with over 16,000 visitors in town for the holidays, pushing our harvest to its limits. It’s tough having such a big winter market demand in the darkest part of the year!
Ali joined our team as our herbalist last summer when we sadly sent Jes on her way to…the world. Ali has enriched our lives with her lovely creations (and self), and we look forward to any tinctures, salves, and lip balms that will hopefully join the lineup of our value added products. She spends her days tending flowers and herbs, both culinary and medicinal, harvesting and drying them in our upstairs drying room on special racks. Then, she mixes them into our custom crafted line of 6 delicious teas. Not a bad day’s work! Ali leaves hearts trailing behind her wherever she goes, as this photo of chamomile drying shows beautifully. An artist, she is always coming up with potential new products, such as wreaths or greeting cards made from dried flowers. read the rest of this entry
We’re heading into our third winter of growing in our unheated hoop houses. We are sticking with some old standbys that have proven successful, such as Napoli carrots, Space spinach, bunching kales (Toscano, Ripbor, and Redbor) and our salad mix of green and red mizunas, arugula, tatsoi, Red Giant mustard, and Red Russian kale. We are also experimenting with a few more types of root crops, including Hakurei turnips and Merlin and Touchstone Gold beets. So far, the turnips are very successful and delicious. Beets, not so much. They were showing signs of Cercospora so we pulled them before they infected the spinach. We also have started some spinach to transplant out into the beds where the directly sown spinach failed to germinate. Halloween saw our final direct sowing for the winter season. We have been covering every night with Agribon 30, and adding layers of Ag 50 or 70 when the forecast projects temperatures below 20 degrees. So far this winter has been… weird, with lows dropping into the negative teens and 3 feet of snow falling in one November storm, but December has been unseasonable dry and warm. Bring it on, winter! We’re ready and waiting.
Dan is really good at his job. Perhaps that’s because he started at a young age! Aside from the wonderful products that he has developed and made available for purchase, he’s made Elkstone’s kitchen a warm, welcoming, amazing-smelling place that the staff hungrily descends on during our lunch hour. We are always hopeful that there will be extras, or something that just ‘needs’ to be taste-tested, and he often cheerfully obliges us. He’s great at taking whatever we have grown, and creatively turning it into something entirely new and delicious. We sure appreciate it. Thanks Dan!