Hattie’s Garden open Wednesday and Thursday, 2 to 5 — See below for directions.
Yes, it is a lovely Indian summer day, but we need to look ahead and start planning our vegetable storage for winter. If we are trying to eat locally grown produce and eating with the seasons, what are we to do for the winter months? Sure we can run to the supermarket and buy whatever we want, but it has been harvested elsewhere in the world and shipped to us. Part of being sustainable is to get away from that model — a model that entails plenty of costs, both economic and ecological.
A sustainable model does indeed include locally grown produce, even in the depth of winter. Farmers in our area have many selections of things you can buy and store and use throughout the depths of winter. These seasonally appropriate foods can be used in preparing hearty meals, perfect for the cooler weather we know is coming.
But how we store these items is critical and we wanted to give you a brief understanding of how all this works (and has worked for centuries).
Many items call for storage in the basement or root cellar and most of us do not have the luxury of a traditional root cellar. But when we know what temperature and what humidity our produce needs, we can often make it work in our homes successfully and easily. Below is a brief list.
Onions and Garlic — This category includes all vegetables in the allium family such as leeks, shallots, and chives. They should be stored on the cooler side in the refrigerator between 32-40°F with a humidity of 65-70%. Keep the humidity lower by placing in paper bags (not plastic) and place in the crisper to keep from lowering the humidity too much.
- Potatoes — Includes Yukon Gold, Red Potatoes, Fingerlings. Store in plastic, not paper to maintain higher humidity in the refrigerator crisper drawer at about 40°F. If your refrigerator has an adjustment for the crisper, put it on the warmer adjustment which helps to stop cold air from coming in every time your refrigerator cools. It’s best to let your potatoes to come to room temperature before using. Make sure potatoes are completely dry and DO NOT WASH until ready for use.
- Sweet Potatoes — Best at 55-60°F, enclosed well in a paper bag to retain moisture (85% humidity is ideal). To maintain their preferred storage humidity, double-bag them in paper bags, or place in a paper bag, then a cardboard box. If you don’t have an area at that temperature, simply pick the coolest spot you have, but not usually the kitchen and never the kitchen counter. They want darkness.
Winter Squash — Best at 50-55°F with air circulation — not in a bag. Do not store lower than this temperature, but if you must store them at a higher temperature, they will certainly last quite a while and simply buy them periodically from your farmer who will be storing them properly. Keep in a cardboard box to maintain the correct humidity (50-70%).
- Cabbage & Root Vegetables — Includes carrots (cut the tops off completely, but do not cut into the actual carrot), beets (without tops), rutabagas, turnips (without tops), radishes and kohlrabi. Store all of these vegetables in the refrigerator at a temperature as close to 32°F as you have. You may store them in a plastic bag as long as they are dry.
For further information, see these Storage Guidelines for Fruits and Vegetables from Cornell University.
What’s Available This Week
The following will be available this week at Hattie’s Garden on Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 5. If these times/dates do not work for you, please email Hattie to make other arrangements. We will also be at the HLFM on Saturday from 9 to 12 at the Richard Shields School parking lot. Please note new fall market hours and location!.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce — Young and tender mix of several lettuce varieties, triple washed.
- Mesclun — A mixture of our tender salad greens.
- Premium Kale (Early Hanover) — A soft-leaf, tender young kale. Very flavorful, Early Hanover is actually a dark bluish-green Siberian variety. Perfect for juicing, salads eating, or cooking.
- Red Russian Kale — A wonderfully sweet kale, certainly young enough to be eaten raw, the sweetness really comes out with a bit of cooking.
- Lisianthus Bouquets — Many of our customers have been delighted with the small, elegant Lisianthus bouquets. They contain a mixture of very long-lasting flowers including Lisianthus, Tall Blue Ageratum, Gomphrena and Celosia. They are just gorgeous and the bouquet we have in our kitchen delights us over and over again.
- Deep Grass Organic — available only at Hattie’s Garden on Wednesday & Thursday — gorgeous-tasting Butternut Squash, sweet, nutty-flavored Acorn Squash, delicious Sweet Potatoes, yummy Red Bliss Potatoes that are typically great for roasting, boiling, casseroles and potato salads, all-purpose Yukon Gold potatoes that can be used for just about any cooking application, essential Garlic heads, mild and quite sweet Red Onions that are ideal for salads, marinades, salsas and roasts, wonderful Copra Onions that can keep as long as 9 months or more, and sweet & mild flavored Candy Yellow Onions.
Directions to Hattie’s Garden
Hattie’s Garden is located at 31341 Kendale Rd in Lewes approximately 3 miles from Plantation Rd. (Also known as Rt. 1D) coming inland on either Robinsonville Rd. or Beaver Dam Rd (Rt. 23 South). Kendale Rd. is a short link (.6 miles) between Robinsonville and Beaver Dam and the garden at 31341 Kendale is located near the Beaver Dam Rd. intersection — five houses from that intersection on the left hand side. The house has purple trim and you will see a large hoophouse or “high tunnel” in the back as you drive into the driveway.
We hold our sales in the large garage attached to the house. Enter the garage through a door in the side of the garage, just behind the house.
From the City of Lewes:
Travel on Savannah Rd and cross Rt. 1 as though traveling to Georgetown on Rt. 9, but take an immediate left and then an immediate right to access Rt. 23 South (Beaver Dam Rd). Rt. 23 runs roughly parallel to Rt. 9. Continue 3 miles and turn left onto Kendale Rd. Look for the purple trim on our house after a short distance of about a tenth of a mile.
From Rehoboth Beach:
Travel north on Rt. 1 and take a left at Rt. 24. Take a right onto Plantation Rd.–the first major intersection–and then a left onto Robinsonville Rd. (1.9 miles). Travel just under 3 miles and take a right onto Kendale Rd. Travel .5 miles on Kendale and 31341 will be on the right toward the end of this short road.
Yours in the Garden and at the Market,