Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #29, 11/21/10

What’s been going on?

Wow! Two months since the last newsletter and I can tell you we have not been standing still. Here we are slipping up on the greatest of all food holidays and there is a lot to do but a brief recap of the fall first. The six plus inches of rain in late September came at the ideal time to not only ease the drought but to moisten the soil to make fall soil preparations and cover crop seeding nearly perfect. As we drove out the drive way on the way to Italy, for the Terra Madre meeting, a perfect rain was falling on the newly seeded fields.

The nearly three weeks we were in Italy and Spain was the longest we have ever been away from the farm in 30 years. Look for full reports with lots of pictures on the website, we will get them up after Thanksgiving. The Slow Food Terra Madre meeting was overwhelming as always, with so many people from 162 countries and of course the Salone de Gusto specialty foods show was eye popping. We had a great visit with our Italian family who again showed us hospitality beyond belief.

After Terra Madre we spent a week in Spain with Ben and Karen Barker of Magnolia Grill, searching for great food and ingredients. Not hard to find the great food and we went to many markets to find the new vegetables were looking for. We have brought back five new peppers and a new tomato to try and grow here. The country side was beautiful and their food culture is very different from what we have seen in other parts of Europe.

As we turned into the driveway of the farm and the headlights moved across the fields we could see that the rains had indeed brought up one of the most beautiful sets of cover crops ever. It was a crazy, hectic week trying to re-enter regular life: hundreds of emails, crops to plant for next spring, Thanksgiving crops and turkey details to catch up on, etc. Betsy was home for six days before flying to Tulsa, OK for the Assoc. of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference. Two days later I left for nine days in Utah, hiking the upper Paria river area.

Home for three days now and we are in a sprint towards the special Tuesday Thanksgiving market (see the details below). Tomorrow morning I go down to retrieve the turkeys from the freezer plant and then we start the harvest of all of the vegetables to go with the dinner. Betsy has been busy while I was gone planting more anemones, ranunculus and Dutch iris for next spring. We need a rest from all our time off!

Picture of the Week

Beautiful Brussels Sprouts plants (unfortunately no sprouts for Thanksgiving) and awesome Celery

What’s going to be at the market?

Don’t forget about the special Thanksgiving market on Tuesday the 23rd from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Right now the forecast looks to be the warmest and nicest day the special Thanksgiving market has ever had. We are not sure where we will be set up at the market, as vendors will be parked as they arrive. Look for our small white refrigerated truck and Betsys bright red pickup.

We will have a lot of beautiful vegetables to go with the big meal. There will be a good supply of roots with Beets, Carrots, Japanese White Turnips and Easter Egg Radishes. Some very nice Leeks. The Green Boston lettuce should be just about the right tender size. There will be a good amount of Spinach and plenty of incredible Collards too. The Celery has grown beautifully with intense flavor, perfect or dressing and other dishes. The miracle of Brussels Sprouts has not happened, some of the best looking plants we have ever grown but the sprouts have just not sized up yet. Look for some very fresh Ginger that we have grown as a test this year too!

There are still three turkeys left, unreserved. Two 6-7# Bourbon Red hens and one 19# Broad Breasted Bronze.

Don’t forget that the rest of the vendors will have great stuff too! Cheeses, sweet potatoes, pies and more.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy


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