Wintry Mornings

-Erika Rumbley

Each week I meet more of you who are captivated by the idea of eating more locally. Perhaps your family has gone whole hog, or you may be dipping your toes in this season with a newfound curiosity for root vegetables and all those gorgeous squashes. As the temperatures bottom out and the shortest days approach, the Langwater Farm crew is doubling our efforts to feed you through the winter months. We’re filling every last inch of the barn with beets, turnips and carrots. We’re stacking sweet potatoes, kabocha and butternut to the ceiling. The lush, impossibly green spinach and kales have been tucked under row cover for careful gradual harvests in the coming weeks. The sides of the greenhouses are battened down tight with arugula and lettuce growing inside. Every vegetable is stored to suit its preferences, to maximize freshness and storability- carrots, beets, daikon and the striking watermelon radish in a chilly, humid cooler while squashes and sweet potatoes like it warm and dry. This time of year, farming is more about dormancy than growth.

Through this week of wintry mornings, the Langwater Farm crew will devote early hours to clearing out greenhouses and cleaning leeks until the outside world thaws. Several hours later, we pile into trucks with our thermoses and all the layered clothing we can stand. We’ll be cutting tops off of turnips, tossing them into crates, pouring crates into big bins, carrying the bins away with the tractor. This is what local, seasonal eating looks like.