The First Freeze of the Season
Village Farm Team,
We spent the beginning of this week preparing for the first freeze of the season. This included harvesting the last of our okra, eggplant, and peppers and putting row cover on our tender crops like lettuce, peas, and certain herbs. Since our summer crops are now officially done for the season, your last chance to enjoy them will be this Saturday at the veggie wagon! We highly recommend picking up extra okra and peppers so that you can pickle and enjoy them well into the winter season.
As much as we’re sad to see the last of our summer crops go, we’re excited for the first freeze as it will positively affect the flavor of our brassicas and root crops. Throughout their growing season, many varieties of root crops and brassicas store energy in the form of starches. When temperatures drop to freezing, these vegetables begin to convert their starches into sugars which act like an anti-freezing agent for their cells. This environmental response leads to an improved, sweeter flavor once they are harvested.
We harvested the first of our Bilko cabbage last week! Bilko is a type of Chinese cabbage that yields elongated heads with savoyed leaves. It is often referred to as “Napa” cabbage, a term that is a derivation of the colloquial Japanese term “nappa” which is a reference to the leaves of a vegetable, especially when used for food. Bilko is a great option for making at-home ferments like sauerkraut or kimchi but it can also be roasted, stir-fried, or used raw to make salads and slaws.
Please note the veggie wagon is open every Saturday from 8am-12pm with stringent sanitary protocols in place!
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West