We're a day late at getting our email out, but we're almost back in Colorado and feeling as excited as ever to get on with the 2019 growing season! With the exception of our seed potatoes, every seed we will grow this season has arrived to the farm, spreadsheets and planting calendars have been finalized, new flats have been shipped from Grower's Supply, and we've found our new OMRI-certified seed germinating soil at Earth Friendly Supply in Paonia that we will tenderly place each seed in and wait for the first cotyledons to emerge. It's an energizing time of year to say the least!
After visiting family in Missouri, I sit here in the Dallas / Fort Worth airport waiting for my connecting flight and doing what one does with a 2.5 hour layover - people watching! Observing all the travelers from around the world that are devouring snacks and meals from McDonald's, Starbucks, Auntie Anne's, and an eclectic smattering of other ethnic and regional eating venues. Generally speaking, it's undoubtedly hard to eat healthy when in an airport - you are merely satisfying your gut's desire to feel satiated, and there is little nutrition and nourishment provided. How fortunate I am feeling to be returning to our hoophouse full of fresh greens and root vegetables.
I was asked several times at pick-up last week how the crops in the hoophouse are doing, and the answer is wonderful! Before leaving Cedaredge, we transplanted new heads of tatsoi and lettuce into the ground that reportedly are thriving, and even with temperatures dipping down to around -5 earlier this month, the greens survived, much to my surprise I must add. Our hoophouses are unheated and rely upon passive solar energy. In addition to the polypropylene cover over the galvanized steel hoops, we use a spun bonded polypropylene fabric called Agribon that further protects our crops. We don't worry much about the immature greens when the temperatures dip this low, but more so about the beds that are ready or nearing readiness to harvest. These were unchartered temperatures for us! However, it's been fascinating to see how they bounce back. Some of the crops seemed to struggle for a week or two, but remarkably they recovered. In the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whom we are celebrating this week, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase". We're never totally certain what is going to happen with farming. It's a gamble in the cold weather, and it is certainly a gamble in the spring and summer when we worry about getting rain, but not too much at once, and definitely no hail. Sometimes we just have to have trust and confidence that we've done the best we can to nurture and protect, and for today it will have to be enough. A little bit of luck is always a good thing too.
For this week we will have gorgeous salad greens, the sweetest spinach you've tasted, brilliantly colored rainbow baby chard, and picture perfect tatsoi available - some in more limited quantities than others. We have an abundance of amazing pea shoots, which if you haven't tried, you should, buckwheat shoots, lots of storage onions, carrots, and beets. And sun chokes! If you haven't tried these tubers also known as Jerusalem artichokes, you've been missing out! We still have lots of tasty spaghetti squash and the last of our red kuri and Pikes Peak winter squash are tasting delicious as well. This week we are also offering dried San Marzano tomatoes from this past summer's garden, a new type of heirloom cornmeal ground from Oaxacan green corn, and dried Hatch style chilies (mix of mild, medium, and hot). Please have any order in by Thursday evening for Saturday pick-up at the farm. Also, please note that when ordering online, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this, please send us an email so that we can help process your order.
To order, please visit: https://www.ultreiafarmstead.com/shop
And, with this, we wish each of you a wonderful week! Thank you for your continued support of our farm and local, organic agriculture. It is our privilege and honor to be growing food for you.
In gratitude, Melissa & Cale