We just finished packing up the December Storage Share boxes.  It’s such a satisfying experience.  The share contains potatoes-harvested in August; onions and garlic-harvested in July; ruby heart radish, chioggia beets and celeriac-harvested in October; cabbage, red and golden beets, carrots, daikon radish and turnips-harvested in November.  Forty-five pounds of root vegetables heading out on trucks today and all of it looking and tasting as fresh as if it were harvested yesterday.  The key is proper storage.  We have five walk-in coolers on our farm and we are able to set the temperature and humidity of each one to perfectly meet the needs of the vegetables we are storing.  Post-harvest handling which includes how the vegetable is handled immediately after harvest and how it is stored are critical to maintaining quality vegetables.  Eighteen years ago this farm had one cooler, purchased from Miller’s Market in Verona.  The year before that, our first year as a CSA, we used two old refrigerators!  As the farm grew and we had more and more vegetables to store, we continued to add cooler space.  Our most recent cooler is one with a garage door so we can drive bins of vegetables in with a fork lift (this comes in handy for melons!).  We have one large cooler which we devote solely to potato storage.  The original cooler from Miller’s is the most beautiful, the interior being made of wood.  Now that all of the vegetables are packed into share boxes we need to keep ourselves busy in other ways.  At the moment we are building a potting shed addition to our greenhouse.  I’m watching the activity from my office as I work on next season’s seed order.  David sits in the office below me compiling data from this season and working on 2013 plans.  Jonnah works from the barn office compiling 2013 memberships and working on web site improvements.  Jesse is busy working with potatoes.  This farm continues to be a vibrant place all year.

Happy Winter – Happy Holidays

Unpacking the November Storage Share

Unpacking the November Storage Share

Adding a potting shed onto the greenhouse

Adding a potting shed onto the greenhouse