cold snap

Leaves at Lake Roland before the wind.

Leaves at Lake Roland before the wind.

It got cold last night. And all the better for all of our greens. Some vegetables can’t survive frosts or temperatures below 32F, but many can. The reason freezing damages plants is that, unlike animals, vegetative cells have cell walls in addition to permeable membranes. Cell walls provide structure for the plant like bricks in a wall. When the water inside a plant cell freezes, it ruptures the cell wall, compromising the plant and making it wilt.

Many vegetables, especially greens, are capable of expanding their cells in the case of freezing but also use another mechanism to survive cold weather. Freezes trigger many vegetables to produce additional sugars (sometimes visible as darker, bluer, or redder leaf veins) in order to lower the freezing point of the solution inside their cells, often down to 27 or 28F.

Each subsequent freeze encourages the plants to produce more of these sugars, which are also responsible for the distinctive —sweet, nutty, spicy, bitter—of each unique vegetable. Colder means more flavorful. This is why local East Coast greens and roots will almost always be more flavorful than California or greenhouse grown greens from the store.

Delicious and colorful cold-sweetened salad.

Delicious and colorful cold-sweetened salad.

enjoying mustard greens

My personal favorite has always been mustard greens, which we sometimes list individually, but always list as “Stir-Fry Mix.” If you’re new too mustards or have found them too spicy in the past, I highly encourage you to try par-boiling before you eat them. Simply bring a stock pot to a rolling boil and toss all the greens in for 1-2 minutes, until they shine iridescent but before the water has turned too green. Pour the pot through a colander to collect the greens, let them cool, chop or put in the food processor, and then use them in any recipe that calls for cooked greens like chipped spinach.

A household favorite is an onion-sweetened, garam masala spiced side like this. Or they’re great as the base for a classic cheesy greens casserole. Just sautee a couple onions and garlic in butter for 7 or 8 minutes in an oven proof pan, toss in about a pound’s worth of parboiled greens, with a 1/2 cup of broth, cover with 1 C of grated cheddar and Parmesan, then bake at 400F until the cheese is browned and gooey, about 20 minutes. Classic, artery-clogging Americana.


Join us for a celebration! We're having a special happy hour for Good Dog Farm CSA members at Well Crafted Pizza (1700 W 41st St, Baltimore, MD 21211) on Thursday November 29th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Well Crafted will be making us some special snacks from Good Dog Farm produce, and of course there's yummy beers from Union available for purchase. Please RSVP to this email by November 25th so that we know how much food to make. Can't wait to meet/see you all there! 


And an important reminder: Starting the week of November 28th, our only pick up site will be HEX Ferments in Belvedere Square. So here's what you can do if you are currently picking up at a different site: 

Option A: Spend down your balance at your regular pick up site through November 21st

Option B: Spend down your balance over the winter picking up only at HEX Ferments.

Option C: Apply your remaining balance as a coupon to our main season share starting June 2019 when we will resume our regular pick up sites, plus a new site in Hampden at Prime Corner. Our ordering format will be slightly different next season, but you will still be able to customize your shares and pick up on a schedule that you determine. And the website will be easier to use too! 

Please let us know what you decide by Sunday November 18th. And feel free to let us know if you have any questions about the different options. If we do not hear from you by the 18th, we will save your balance as a coupon for the 2019 season.

Thanks everyone!