Worden Farm Field Notes: January 3, 2017

Happy New Year! Whatever your resolutions may be, they probably can be reached by eating more vegetables.

We are glad to grow healthy organic vegetables for you, and to help inspire new ways of preparing them. We hope to see you at the upcoming Worden Farm to Table Cooking Demo Lunch on January 12. If you haven’t yet explored our full schedule of farm events, take a look now, and get off to a great start on the new year.

Out in our fields, this season’s first celery crop finally is ready. Celery is not easy to grow. It thrives in cool weather. Getting celery seed to germinate can be difficult in the warm months. It can take up to three months in the greenhouse for it to size up for transplanting. It then can take up to another three months before it is ready for harvest.

In Florida, celery typically is grown on the fertile muck soils near Lake Okeechobee. At Worden Farm, we grow celery on our sandy soils, so our celery tends to be more flavorful. Our celery is excellent for cooking, and fantastic for juicing. When our celery leaves are in good condition, we like to leave them on, so that they can be used for soup stocks and like an herb for great celery flavor. When we have an abundance of celery in our home kitchen, we like to freeze or dry some of it for later use in soups and stews.

Yesterday, we received many visitors at the farm. Our friends Carmon and Charlene Dilworth came to see us from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Chris helped them on their small scale family vegetable farm when he was a teenager. The experiences he had there are part of what led him to study agriculture, and eventually to build Worden Farm. This was the Dilworth’s first visit to Worden Farm, and we were happy to share it with them.

We also were delighted to host the annual visit of the Peace River Painters. We have provided our farm as a venue to this group for many years, and they paint scenes from all over our property. Seeing their unique perspectives on the farm is fascinating. This year, the turnout of painters was strong, with over two dozen attending. The weather was beautiful, and so were all of their paintings.

It is an honor to work with diverse community organizations in various ways at Worden Farm. We believe that giving creates abundance. When farm members and market customers get vegetables from us, they also are supporting the organizations that we support.

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