"Cold proofing your salad"

Knowing that the rains were coming, we doubled down 
on what needed to be done at the farm. There was emphasis on 
completing the work on the beds so the soil would be nourished 
and well treated prior to the soaking that is sure to come. 
And on this day of toil, as the days were getting shorter, 
heralding winter, we did our first round of planting 
the vegetables that will be our winter garden.

As we labored, we noticed the last hurrah from summer, 
red peppers still ready for picking, reminded us of summer 
while they resemble Christmas ornaments on a tree. 
By the time you are reading this, the peppers have been picked 
and have lent their tangy spice to one last dish this season. 
But this winter, we will still be able to enjoy our peppers 
from the farm–there are no doubt chili flakes in the pantry 
from peppers John dried on the roof at ESTATE this summer!

The other trophy from this summer's garden are the 
last tomatoes that didn't ripen in time for chef magic, but will 
become part of the rich compost we create as the farm 
changes from one season to the next. All part of the ongoing cycle 
of our biodynamic farm, ensuring the most sustainable use of everything at the farm. 

And, so we are now truly in winter garden mode. 
The sunchokes that rose up taller than most of us, are all gone, 
with only a few stubborn tubers still clinging to the ground. 

We've dug those up and cleared away the plants. 
Sunchokes can be obstinate insisting on staying or recurring, 
which is why we planted them at the end of the rows near a path. 
can you believe these "homely" looking tubers would adorn
a dish served at the James Beard house?

But those same deep roots that may be willful about recurring 
bring nutrients far down into the soil benefiting other plants.  
John is still deciding what to plant here. 
While he ponders what to do here in the upper beds,
the plan for the lower beds has been set. We will have 
radishes, chioggia beets, collards, bok choy, Chinese snow peas and broccoli. 
A hearty and diverse winter garden sure to inspire the chefs 
lower beds planted with vegetables

all those veggies as starts in the greenhouse prior to planting
Spicing up the vegetables in our winter garden, 
as well as for the chefs in the kitchens, 
we are growing walla walla and Italian torpedo onions, 
which also were nurtured as starts in the greenhouse 
at "the fig" before planting in the ground. 

row of Italian torpedo onions just getting started
You can be inspired by these reliable vegetables 
whether you are growing them in your winter garden or finding them at a farmer's market. Always good to steam or roast, some of these vegetables can become a winter salad, 
so creative and tasty, it just might rival what you do in the lush days of summer. 
Popular food writer, Mark Bittman recently wrote about "cold proofing your salad:" 
"With all due respect to tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and all the other vegetables 
we’ve enjoyed for the last few months, the champions of the moment 
are beets, turnips and radishes. Incredibly — though not surprisingly, 
since there are no surprises here — the beets, turnips and radishes 
give you greens to use in salads or for cooking,
 as well as roots you can eat raw or cooked."  
Mark also has some interesting tidbits to sharedid you know that 
"beets are chard grown primarily for their roots; 
chard is beets grown for its greens"—and some great recipes
the beet salad at the girl & the fig
will be the product of these beets just beginning at the farm

we are always growing chard and radishes at the farm
It's important to us to keep our farm growing even in the winter.

What are you planting for this season? 
Any recipes to share for winter vegetables?

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