Howdy everyone! What a lovely winter we’re having so far in Dubuque and the Tri-state area! The snow has held off and temps have been cold but steady. Because of this, we’re still fortunate enough to be sourcing as much local produce as possible despite the weather. Some of our farmers have transitioned into their greenhouses in order to extend their growing seasons. That means that yes, you can come on by the co-op and pick up some cherry tomatoes or mini sweet peppers that were grown right down the street in Potosi, Wisconsin.
This is also the time of year when produce prices start to increase. Why is this you ask? Numerous reasons, but it all boils down to the season we’re currently in. As winter begins to blanket most of the United States, we’re left to rely on our friends out West in California. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the drought that California has been experiencing is the worst in 1,200 years according to a study completed by the University of Minnesota. You can read about it here. With that being said, produce is arriving from all over the world to fill the U.S. demand. It is due to this, that we as a community need to rely more on the area we live to eat locally.
It’s time for Brussels sprouts everyone! We just received the last and final local shipment of delicious, organic certified Brussels sprouts in from The Thimmesch Farm in La Farge, WI. I’ll warn you, they’re an amazing hue of green and so tasty! Whether roasted in olive oil, boiled and slathered in butter, or blanched and put into your fave side dish, they’re awesome and so versatile!
Honey Hill Organic Farm stopped by this week (as previously mentioned) to give us some goodies that are so rare this time of year. Cherry tomatoes and mini sweet peppers are back on the shelves folks! They won’t last long so come on in and pick some up! Don’t forget about the squash—spaghetti, acorn and butternut are still plentiful and there are so many ways to “dress them up” the possibilities are endless. Let’s not forget that roasting and baking helps keep your house warm J
Two new farms have shown up on the radar as of lately also. We’re excited to welcome Small Family Farm CSA from La Farge, WI on board as well as Kings Hill Farm located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Both are certified organic operations and are run by small families. Small Family Farm CSA is providing us with celeriac (also known as celery root), 2 lb. orange carrot bags, red onions, and cipollini onions (sweet and excellent braised in red wine!). Kings Hill is supplying us with red and gold potatoes that are perfect for mashing, roasting and of course baking. After all, who can resist a baked potato with all of the fixin's?!?
To say winter months can be a struggle while farming is an understatement. Growing up on an organic farm, there were no shortages of challenges during the cold and snowy months. I remember water systems freezing up and animals needing water meaning we had to run hoses to the chickens, cattle and others that needed it. Storms, freezing rain, outrageous amounts of snowfall and the like can be a cause for numerous challenges for farmers. For all of the work our farmers do and the conditions they endure, I ask that you thank your farmer next time you see them. It will mean the world to them…trust me :-)