It feels as though this full moon past has been one last protest to the summer’s end. It stands to shine on us, even as we sleep, reminding me of the light-filled days that seemed to never end. The 18-hour days are just about over for me now. The darkness is winning again and so my balance feels as though it’s returning to me now.
I do as best as I can through the season to impress upon you that this is a good life and we run a fully functional farm that produces beautiful food problem and chaos-free. I want for you to see the beautiful side of this operation like a mother wants her children to be blind to fear, violence and wrong-doing for as long as she is able to shelter them from the crule world. But when her children are grown and she is no longer able to deny that her children will have to endure some amount of suffering for the rest of their days, the two of them have a good talk.
This farming thing isn’t easy; and I never once took you for naieve, even if you really are. To make this kingdom grow, us farmers make huge sacrifices. Probably not unlike many of you might have to make in your professional lives too. We all have different kinds of work that we do to earn our keep in this world, pay our mortgages, and meet our deadlines while juggling everything it takes to sustain a functional domestic life all the while. But as I finally take a minute to sit on the porch swing for reflection, it feels like we’re running a circus out here rather than a smooth assembly line. The juggling of tomatoes, kohlrabi’s and carrots and 50 other varieties of vegetables gets you seeing double while you’re practically falling over from the load coming down on you.
The ebb and flow of this gig reminds me a lot of when I used to be a runner. We would practice and run and practice and run and work on speed and focus and speed. The day of the meet would arrive and the race would come and it would give you these aches in your side, your shins and your calves, but you had to just keep on running to get to the finish line, because you knew that once you got there you could just collapse if someone didn’t tell you to just keep on and walk it off. The actual race was exhausting and it took every last remnant of energy from the depths of your mass that you ever could have possibly stored up in the last two weeks of preparation. It takes mental and physical discipline. It takes endurance and perseverance like the kind that only comes from the love for something. Farming is like this. Only it lasts a lot longer than 13 minutes.
Rain or shine, the race is on. I often times hear people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it.” My first thought it always, “Neither do I.” I really don’t know how. We make a lot of it up as we go, relying largely on luck, prayer and hope. The chaos, and this profession truly does epitomize chaos in July and August on our farm, makes you feel like you’re wrapped inside a tornado and you’re totally at the mercy of mother nature and her wind speeds and moody gusts. But for some really, really weird reason I do happen to love this life. Probably the same way a mother loves her hyper toddler best when they are sleeping.
The dust always settles and the wreckage gets picked up eventually before the snow starts to fall. All the families are fed and there is food in the freezers and canning jars and the days wane down into the bosom of the winter solstice. It’s harvest time now and it’s manageable. The tide is still high but the water is receding. Thank you for sharing the ride with me. You’re the promise I make and keep and it feels good to me.
So….WHAT’S in the BOX???
Beets- More beautiful Beets. Notice the Burpees Golden beet or the heirloom chioggia beets mixed in. Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator with tops removed.
Cabbage– Stores best in plastic bag in fridge.
White Onions— Still plenty of onions to give. Does not need refrigeration. Store away from direct sunlight.
Kale- The return of the kale! Stores best in plastic bag in fridge.
Bell Pepper, Hot Pepper- Beautiful peppers.
Leeks- One of the sure signs of fall. In the onion family. Stores best in plastic bag in fridge.
Fennel- Recipe ideas below.
Melons- Another sweet delight. If not fully ripe, allow to sit on your counter for a few days until it turns a little more orangish and smells like ripe cantelope.
Celery- More beautiful Celery. It looks a little better this week! Must be stored in plastic bag to keep firm.
Parsnips- In the same family as carrots. Great in soups or roasted root veggie dishes. Store in plastic bag in fridge.
Next week! A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have. Due to the unexpectedness of the season, anything could pop up or go down hill in no time. Carrots, Potatoes, Celeriac Root, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Onions, Peppers, Buttercup squash.