Today is the Winter Solstice, a pretty influential day, especially for farmers. After today our day lengths will increase, so very slowly to start and then much more quickly come March and April, for the next six months. At which point they will decrease and so on and on like that every six months.
Most important for us Winter season farmers, is that the plants currently in the ground and just seeded will recognize this day length increase however small it is and begin to grow a bit faster than they have for the past month. Temperatures and direct sunlight are also key factors in the rate of plant growth; but the trigger of increased daylight has helped exponentially in our personal experience. It will not be till about a month from now that we see real results, but by February the rate of growth is significant.
Our laying hens work in a very similar way. During the next 4 weeks we will see an automatic ramping up of overall egg production; with little spikes happening 3-4 days following warmer weather. By February (typically our coldest month in Virginia) our laying hens are laying double the amount of eggs that they lay in November and December, although the weather is typically warmer then. We can only attest this to the growing daylight hours and our laying hens biological clock.
This cyclical change is a time of celebration for us as it falls in our Winter break and signals the potential of the coming season and a chance to get our customers more food during these barren Winter months. Below is a list what is available during this time of year. Join us at our market in January to stock up on fresh vegetables and delicious poultry. Happy New Year to all, Brian and Autumn
Roots: Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Parsnips, Daikon & Winter Radishes
Greens: Collards, Kale, Spinach, Persian Cress, Taglio Chard, Mesclun Mix, Arugula
Heads: Radicchio, Escarole, Frisee, Lettuce, Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Fennel, Cauliflower
Various Winter Squash Varieties: Seminole Pumpkin, Jonathan Cushaw, Thai Kang Kob, Musquee de Provence, Sucrine du Berry
Fresh Stoneground Corn
Hickory King Cornmeal $5/lb
Cateto Polenta $6/lb
Whole: $6/lb (range from 4-7lb)
Delicious Red Ranger Chickens
Whole chickens: $4.50/lb
Boneless/Skinless Breast: $10.50/lb
Hearts or Livers: $6/lb
Gizzards, Feet, Necks, and Stock Making Packs: $3/lb