Youth Farm News: The Greenhouse, the Freezer, and CSA Shares

Youth Farm Onion Starts
Amidst the snow, rain, and sun of fickle March the greenhouse season in western Montana is upon us.  Time for mixing soil, getting my hands dirty, and the very simple pleasure of watching a seed do what it does best: grow.  Slowly the onions and cabbages push their way up through the soil – little green shoots that will grow to be a staple food for many a meals in the year to come.  They are also a lesson on planting and care, and offer reassurance that there will be green feasts in the months to come!

Being in the greenhouse, planting and planning, watering the young plants reminds me it is time for another seasonal phenomena in my own house.  Each early spring I have to take inventory of the frozen beans , broccoli, tomatillos, and who knows what else I feverishly blanched and cooled, or zipped through the food processor and into the freezer back in August and September.  I look in the spare closet containing the remaining onions, garlic and shallots. Take a peak in the frig at the beets and cabbage still waiting for the roasting pan or the salad bowl.  I make a mental note about the spaghetti squash I need to cook before it heads south, and while I’m at it I chop up some beets, and soak some garlic for easy peeling.

This is the time of year when I get to stop rationing last year’s harvest — we made it through the winter eating what we we grew!

Tiny Cabbage

Besides getting starts ready in the greenhouse and eating winter veggies, I am spending lots time preparing for the third season at the Youth Farm and Our Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA).

For the first time the Youth Farm will offer winter shares – a one time bundle of storable, freezable or cannable veggies that should help you to eat local all winter long.

The summer share consists of 18 weeks of beautiful vegetables grown by Youth Homes teens.  As a member of the Youth Farm CSA you will eat exceptionally, get involved in local agriculture, support employing Youth Homes teens, and get farm updates and recipes right here on this blog!  You can learn more about the Youth Farm and CSA by visiting the Youth Homes site or apply at the Garden City Harvest site.

A food tip

This winter I have been enjoying garlic in a jar of olive oil.

I fill a bowl, small pot or any vessel I think I can tackle with garlic, let it soak over night. Then in the morning I peel the garlic, let it dry up a bit, fill a jar with the garlic and pour oil over top until the garlic is covered.

Sometimes I add other ingredients like dried hot peppers.  This garlic and olive oil filled jar is super great in many ways! I find I use garlic even more because its ready to go plus the oil is fantastic for dipping bread!  This definitely needs to be stored in the frig.