It's been VERY cold and snowy lately, as the photos below show. There's been some interesting rides to and from markets, but so far, no real problems. The trucks are big sturdy vehicles and our drivers are all careful! We've been enjoying the snow but looking forward to the little thaw happening today and tomorrow. We're hoping to do some harvesting of rutabagas and turnips on Monday if the ground is thawed. We did get out to the field today to pick some brussels sprouts (look for those on Saturday at Arlington, lucky Virginians!). Otherwise, we have been working hard in the packing shed to get all the produce ready for our three winter season markets.
We probably won't be writing on the blog next week, so we want to wish everyone out there a MERRY CHRISTMAS/HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Hope to see you this weekend for our last markets of 2013!
GREAT NEWS! Yesterday, the FDA released a statement by Michael Taylor, a Deputy Commissioner, that announces a plan to revise some of the most troubling draft rules! Here's an excerpt from the statement:
Based on our discussions with farmers, the research community and other input we have received, we have learned a great deal, and our thinking has evolved. Everyone shares the goal of ensuring produce safety, but, as we said at the beginning of the process, the new safety standards must be flexible enough to accommodate reasonably the great diversity of the produce sector, and they must be practical to implement.
To achieve this goal, we believe that significant changes will be needed in key provisions of the two proposed rules affecting small and large farmers. These provisions include water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain provisions affecting mixed-use facilities, and procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption for certain farms. We have heard the concern that these provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers.
Though as NSAC said in their statement, the fight isn't over:
We look forward to working with FDA as they finish their review of the public comments and as they put together a second set of proposals on key issues for public comment. We pledge to continue to work with FDA, other farm groups, and with concerned Senators and Representatives to ensure that FSMA implementation leads to a flexible, scale- and supply-chain appropriate framework that supports the growth and success of a more sustainable food and agriculture system.”
We will be at all three markets this weekend: Sheridan School (8:45 start) and Arlington Courthouse (8:00 am) tomorrow morning, and Dupont Circle Sunday morning (8 am).
The weekend after Christmas (Dec. 28/29), we will be resting and celebrating with our families/friends/pets, and will not be at any of the markets.
Starting in January (weekend of Jan 4/5), we will be at all three markets EVERY WEEK! But the hours of each market will change.
Sheridan School market will be open every Saturday from 9 am til 1 pm, from Jan 4th til mid-March.
Arlington Courthouse market will be open every Saturday from 9 am til 12 pm from Jan 4th through March.
Dupont Circle FRESHFARM market will be open every Sunday (and we will be there EVERY week) from 10 am til 1 pm, from Jan 5th through March.
While Heather is no longer at the farm to provide us with those amazing original recipes, we can still use our trusty old friend GOOGLE. This week, we thought we'd feature kale--such a great veggie, so healthy, and something that we still have to offer at all our markets!
We've found two beautiful recipes that would make great additions to any holiday table:
Kale Christmas Salad
from mywisemom.com (see the link for BEAUTIFUL photos of this salad!!)
- 1 bunch fresh organic kale
- 1/2 teaspoon real salt
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- diced red onion
- dried cherries (chopped for a regular salad or left whole like ornaments for a holiday salad)
- fresh pomegranate
- 1 apple, chopped
- almond slivers (or other nut)
- bacon crumbles
- blue cheese or feta crumbles
Wash fresh kale bunch then tear the leaves from the stems. Tear the bunch into bite sized pieces. Add to a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the kale and then massage for two minutes. When it’s ready, the kale will turn dark green and tender. Massaging your kale will take out the bitter, earthiness to the green.
Add toppings of your choice.
Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Shake to combine then drizzle over kale salad and toss well.
Frazzled Kale and Frisee salad with Pomegranate, Persimmon and Walnuts
from Lavender and Lovage
- 1 bunch green Kale (finely shredded)
- 1 cup frisee lettuce (finely shredded)
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon walnut vinegar or sherry vinegar
- sea salt to taste
- 1 large persimmon, thinly sliced (skin on or off, sometimes the skin is bitter)
- 1 large pomegranate (cut in half and seeds scooped or knocked out)
- 1/2 cup goat cheese (cubed or crumbled)
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Note: This colourful salad is full of taste, flavour and texture and makes a stunning winter salad for any festive occasion. Serve this as part of Christmas menu as a salad starter, or as a light lunch when you have over indulged!
1. Pour the walnut oil and vinegar into a large wok or sauté pan and heat up briskly. Add the kale and lettuce and sauté over a high heat until the leaves are slightly coloured and soft.
2. Take the pan off the heat and drain the leaves before arranging them on a serving platter or individual plates.
3. Whisk in some of the pomegranate juice into the pan, with the oil and vinegar to make a dressing and season to taste with a little sea salt.
4. Arrange the persimmon slices over the frazzled leaves and then scatter the pomegranate seeds, cheese and walnuts over the top. Drizzle over the dressing in the pan and serve immediately with crusty bread.