Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The February Harvest Calendar
Thank you so much for all your lovely messages welcoming me back to the blogosphere. I've been overwhelmed by your kindness. As some of you know, I've been peeking in from time to time, but now I'm relishing a real catch up on all that I've missed over the past months. Actually years. That was quite a baby break! But having a baby is a big deal, there's just no way around it. And I can't tell you how cheering it's been to hear from you all and to read up on your beautiful sites as I ease back in.
It's been cold here. Lots of snow too. But I'm not complaining. I love the snow. The farmers at the market though, they're looking pretty frozen.
Though those girls from Hudson Valley Duck Farm put a good face on it. They have some nice looking duck sausage with cherries and some confit I've been eyeing for a proper cassoulet. Only 7 weeks until spring after all, so I'd better make the most of what's left of winter.
The market's quiet now, especially on Mondays, which are always the slowest day.
Of course there are some vegetables from the farmers who have hydro tents, but there haven't been any open field harvests for quite some time. I do love the great tangles of mushrooms from John D. Madura Farms.
What's left from storage - think beets, parsley root, celeriac, and carrots - is starting to look almost as though it came from some alien world.
There’s still good flavor there though.
Plus, if you look carefully, there's some color to be found. Intense, wintery jewel tones like jarred homemade tomato soup, gleaming red onions and cipollini, and of course all those glorious preserves to perk up pan sauces, cheese boards, or even just your morning toast.
After this month there will be no beets until June, pears will practically disappear until September, and we won't be seeing winter squash or turnips until November, so take advantage while you can.
As always, crop information is available in the sidebar harvest calendar over there on the right all month. The information comes from a guide published by the CENYC, which runs the Greenmarket & New Farmer Development Project. Of course, the best way to familiarize yourself with what's in season where you live is to visit farmer's markets in your area at least every couple of weeks. I truly learn the most of all from the farmers themselves. So ask questions at the market – it’s the best way to find out which crops are not only available, but at their peak. To locate markets near you in the US, check the Zip or City Quick Search at Local Harvest.
Happy winter, and happy February!