Extended CSA Season Week 3

CD0773BF-E719-4279-A657-215283AC9D8EThis Week’s Harvest

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Spinach

Onions

Beauty Heart Radish

Purple Top Turnips

Rainbow Carrots

Butternut Squash

Cabbage

Kohlrabi

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Farm News

When I walk around the farm these days, the scene that greets me is field upon field covered in a blanket of cover crop. I love seeing the all green against the gray winter sky and feel proud that our fields have been put to rest for the winter in a way that will build the soil, hold moisture, prevent erosion, and increase organic matter. I’ve mentioned covering cropping several times before as it one of the main farming practices we implement in our organic system, but what I have new to report is that more and more farms are covering off season fields in cover crop!

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winter-kill oats interplanted with clover
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close-up winter-kill oats interplanted with clover and fetch

According to the NCR-SARE (Program, cover crop acreage increased 49.7% between 2012 and 2017.  While the total crop land in cover crop is still only at 4%, state initiatives are proving to be effective means to encourage farmers to cover crop. Take Maryland, for example, where the crop land now in cover crop is a whopping 43%! This is because of a decades long effort to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed which ultimately led to “a mandate to manage nutrient runoff on farms with money to compensate farmers for adopting certain practices such as growing cover crops — a practice that dramatically cuts down on nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.” More about the national movement towards adopting “climate-smart” agriculture practices can be found in an article published this week in Politico and linked  here. Coming off the heels of yet another impactful weather year (20 million acres of crop land did not get planted due to excessive rain) it is good news that everyone, including bigger players like the American Farm Bureau Federation, seem to be on the same page about climate change and solutions.

If this topic is of interest to you, climate change happens to be the theme of  OEFFA’s Annual Sustainable Farming Conference coming up here in Dayton in February! Special early bird pricing for the event ends Dec. 12 by the way!

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Recipes

Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters

Butternut and Chickpea Stew

Grilled Cheese with Shredded Veggies

Sweet Potato Scones

Turnip and Carrot Soup

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