On Wednesday we attended the Virginia State University Small Farm Family Conference, held in Lynchburg this year. We really get a lot out of this conference. We have two land grant universities in Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State. While Tech focuses on Big Ag and chemical farming, VSU (the historically African American university) is all about sustainability and organic farming methods. We're fortunate to have them as a resource as this is our third year attending the conference, plus we've attended their "goat day."
Now that cold, dark days are ahead, I'm really getting into growing sprouts and shoots. I've been growing them for a while but I'm trying to improve on and expand what I grow. I ordered peas to grow pea shoots. I also dusted off my copy of Ann Wigmore's The Sprouting Book as it has lots of tips and recipes so I have more options than just adding to salads, soups, sandwiches, and the occasional stir-fry. I've also been watching YouTube videos to learn different techniques for growing sprouts, shoots, and microgreens.. They're packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients which are much needed during the winter months.
Earlier in the week I made some minestrone using a variety of vegetables, as recommended in a recipe in Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon, and I threw in some of the shiitake mushrooms that I had dried in the dehydrator. Delicious and a great way to continue enjoying the bounty!
Our CSA is winding down and we'll be reviewing what worked, what didn't, and how we can improve it for our customers next year.
Have a great weekend!