Winter temperatures finally have arrived this week, after a warm December. Rain drizzled lightly throughout the day on Saturday, amounting to a half inch of rainfall at Worden Farm. A low temperature of 39 degrees on Saturday night followed the much-needed rain.
The cooler temperatures lessen the insect pressure and the weed pressure at the farm. This is helpful in our organic production system, because we do not rely on pesticides or herbicides. We do use certain cultural techniques to address insects and weeds, but organic pest management here in South Florida is much easier when the weather is cooler.
Our cool season crops, like carrots, beets, and cole crops, mature well and develop excellent flavor in cooler weather. Cole crops are those in the cabbage family, including broccoli, collards, and kale.
Romanesco is a delicious cool season cole crop that we grow, which has recently begun to mature for harvesting this season. It is uniquely shaped, with an intriguing fractal geometry. Each individual floret has a similar spiral pyramid shape as the larger whole head. Romanesco is an Italian heirloom cauliflower. It is delicious oven-roasted, sautéed, or prepared as cauliflower couscous.
Our greenhouses are less than half full, because we planted as much as was ready before last Saturday’s rain. This will help to establish the transplants into the field.
The first Worden Farm to Table Cooking Demo Lunch of the season is this Thursday, January 12, 11AM to 1PM. Join us for a fun couple of hours on the farm to learn how to make, and then enjoy, a delicious farm-fresh menu of a Harvest Soup, Lettuce Cup Salad, Farmer’s Frittata, and Herbal Tea. Reservations close on Wednesday morning, so sign up now if you would like to attend!
The planning for our upcoming Outstanding in the Field event has ramped up. Chef Joey Egan of Louie’s Modern visited the farm last Wednesday, and toured the veggie barn and the fields with Eva and Chris Worden. He will be cooking up a menu with his team that showcases the organic vegetables from Worden Farm, along with other local and regional artisanal producers.
Thursday, January 26 is the date for what promises to be another unforgettable Outstanding in the Field event — our fourth time hosting. Every time that we host it, the event raises funds for Florida Organic Growers and Consumers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 that supports and promotes organic and sustainable agriculture, by educating consumers, farmers, future farmers (children & youth), businesses, policy makers and the general public.
Make your reservations directly with Outstanding in the Field. We hope to see you out in the field at the long table!