Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last Bayview Market of 2012!

Squash field in mid June.  See the little plants just poking up? it we are off to Bayview for the LAST farmer's market of the season!  (okay, well we do have 4 indoor Holiday Bayview Markets we do starting around Thanksgiving but you know what I mean....).
It is always amazing how quickly I seem to get here.  How the big box of seeds, the precious tiny little plants germinating in our hard-working light cabinets during the cold, wet and dark days of February turn into the pumpkins, the onions, the tomatoes and the brussel sprouts of October!  And then of course, after weeks and weeks of hard work, and long days, it is quite suddenly, over.  Time to rest and hibernate.  Just a bit.  So we can do it all again next year!
Squash Field mid August!  It's a JUNGLE!
Like a squirrel however, my ability to relax all depends on how much food I have "squirreled" away for the winter.  And well this year, all I can say is THANK GOODNESS we have the biggest barn in Island County!  It is stuffed right now!  We are drowning in potatoes, onions and winter squash.  Plus huge piles of dry beans yet to be threshed (just started threshing yesterday!).  And still in the field we have gosh, at least an acres worth of "cold hardy" crops.  Things like carrots, beets, turnips, kale, collards, brussel sprouts and other winter crops that we will harvest as needed.  We are lucky to have a moderate climate that, while perhaps it is not the best for growing watermelons and lima beans, it does offer many days of not too cold days in which so many crops thrive.
Squash field first of October. 
Of course, you wonder, WHERE can I get all this wonderful food off season?  Well...after you come by the Bayview Market today to stock up the pantry, we still have several off-season opportunities.
One of course, is Mikey's great home-delivery list.  Whidbey Green Goods makes a weekly delivery to the door-steps, addresses south of Coupeville, of local veggies, meat and other goodies.  Check out his website if you haven't already -
The fruits of our labor.  Literally.
Then of course there is the "Endless Summer" list.  This is a order and pick-up list in Coupeville that has been running for gosh, maybe 8 years now?  Farmer Linda at Rosehip Farm and Garden heads this one up.  Linda combines available veggies from her farm, Willowood and several other local farms and sends out a list via email.  She takes orders and then we fill them, first-come first-serve with a pick-up on Saturdays.  We run the list at the whim of the farmers and the weather.  Or, i.e., as long as we have enough food and energy to do.  Typically speaking, however, it runs pretty solid until Thanksgiving and then we try and have at least a few pick-ups in December.  I'm also pursuing the possibility of doing a similar "Endless Summer" list with a south-end pick-up at Chef Jess's great new local food deli/take-out in Freeland - Roaming Radish!  (Check it out if you haven't already!  I got a killer meat loaf sandwich there the other day and some great take-home tomato soup!  All using local products!).  Anyways, watch for more info on a possible "South End Endless Summer" pick-up coming soon.
Probably the biggest dearth of the year for local produce, at least, is the first of the year.  January, for us here at Willowood, is major hibernation month.  We don't get out much then.  Things start to happen again in February all depends on how kind the winter weather was to us how much food we have.  We might offer a few, via email, pick-up days and oftentimes Mikey starts-up the first of his Whidbey Green Goods deliveries sometime in February.  By April the first Coupeville markets starts and then things start coming along fast!
So...come of the market today and STOCK UP!  We've got storage bags of potatoes and onions.  And we've got loads of winter squash which are SO nice to have come December and January.  Giant cabbages and kohlrabi to make kraut with and even peppers to pickle!  And if you are getting our email lists, please feel free to share them with Whidbey friends and neighbors.  The more local food moving into local mouths the better!  (Btw, we still haven't gotten our dry beans threshed and packaged yet.  That sometimes just takes time as we get them dry enough to thresh.  So...that is something to DEFINITELY watch for on our email lists and via Whidbey Green Goods!). 
And now, it is time for me to drink some coffee and head out to load up!  See you at market today!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie
Oh yeah, and here's what we got:
* Potatoes - 10 lb and 2 lb bags
* Onions - loose and in 5 lb storage bags
* Winter Squash
* Brussel Sprouts
* Cabbage
* Kohlrabi
* Turnips
* Rutabagas
* Parsnips
* Head Lettuce (yes, late crop!)
* Arugula and spinach bags
* Tatsoi and Mustard bunches
* Baby pac choi
* Radishes
* Scallions
* Beets
* Carrots
* Tomatoes and peppers (last picking!)
* Kale
* Chard
And more....

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