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California's Extended Tomato Season Continues

Sunrise Organic Farms emerged from Thanksgiving weekend facing cooler temperatures. “The weather’s turned and we’re seeing frost a lot of mornings and evenings,” co-founder Andrew Gibson says. “It’s basically turning into the heartier winter vegetable season from more delicate summer vegetables that don’t tolerate frost well.” 

Roma tomatoes, which thrive during warmer weather, are basically done for the year. “I wouldn’t expect to have them more than two more weeks,” Gibson says.

Onions have been part of the past few farm boxes. This week we see cipollini, a word that translates from Italian as “little onion.” This versatile variety with high sugar content is sweeter than the yellows, reds, and shallots that appeared recently. Gibson says. “It’s one of those specialty items that’s got a great flavor, so it’s good for a lot of applications both raw and cooked.”

Sunrise Organic Farms harvests enough hard squash during summer and fall for the bounty to last through winter. Babynut is one hard squash that Sunrise features in this week’s farm box. “It’s got the flavor of butternut squash, but it’s got a more tender skin, so you can eat the skin on it, where most people don’t eat the skin on butternut,” Gibson says. He enjoys incorporating babynut squash cubes into hashes and casseroles. 

Sunrise previously provided green acorn squash to Farmfluence subscribers. This week, they’ve gone gold. “The only difference really between the gold and green is the sugar content,” Gibson says. “Gold is a variety that we let ripen. When things ripen, they get sweet. Green, the tradition acorn that everybody’s used to, is picked before they’re completely ripe, so they’re not as sweet.” He recommends cutting gold acorn squash into cubes and putting them in soups and stews.

Rainbow carrots, celery, lacinato kale, and salanova are crowd pleasers that are making encore appearances in this week’s farm box. 

“The top priorities in the next week is just getting everything we need into the ground before the weather gets so cold that things kind of stall as far as growth,” Gibson says. “We’re planting everything that we expect to start harvesting in about April.

Gibson gave us a sneak preview for what to expect in the coming months. Sunrise has been planting “lots of kales, carrots, beets, radishes, arugula, and strawberries” this week. Yes, strawberries, which are going in the ground now so they’re ready for spring. There’s always something to enjoy and look forward to with diverse farms like Sunrise.