Running a family farm certainly is an interesting dynamic. Our family is bound together by this farm. The farm is the reason we are all here and without this farm, we would surely be living in cities somewhere, distant from one another, working for someone else and for some other cause. At the end of the day, we all seem to love this life and the way that it brings us fulfillment, but it’s not always easy running a business as a family.
Everyone that I’ve ever known who was part of a family business seems to have the richest family life, yet also seems to have the most intense arguments, why is this? Does a balance need to be met between the peace and chaos and we’re just working at achieving balance when we argue or embrace? Our family is so closely bound together by the fundamental things in life such a food, clean air and clean water. We work for each other and we depend on each other. We share a passion for the goodness and greatness that rises up from the earth each year to feed and truly nourish our family. But the earth does not always appear to work in perfect harmony with us and we do not work in perfect harmony with each other all of the time, despite our rootedness to all that is pure and true on this farm or in this life.
When I unearth the garlic after nine months of sleeping and swelling in the soil, surviving a long, cold and dark winter, I am reminded of balance. Garlic is my most favorite crop to grow. I absolutely love everything about the process growing garlic. I love that we can save our seeds. I love planting and mulching them in the fall. I love watching them pop out in the spring thru the mulch, proud to be the first thing to grow in the garden. The garlic must then have the scapes snapped off, then when it’s time to harvest you must sort them, hang them and allow them to cure before you pull them all down and the process begins all over again. Garlic is labor-intensive and growing it involves many, many steps of handling them gently and with care and attention. And when the garlic finally makes it to the dinner table it fills the house with the smell of spicy-ness that the earth can give. After the long awaited winter, harvest, and curing you’re left with this tiny little ball of heat, spice and savory that only takes a small amount to flavor an entire meal. And when the dinner is over, you have terrible breath and possibly some gas, but the food was sooooooooooo yummy. All for such a small thing.
My family is like the garlic in my life. I love my family more than I could ever love anyone or anything else. To have a healthy and successful family home life, I must take careful attention in handling my relationships with each of my family members. My family is spicy and hot and not your average vegetable. My family almost seems sulfuric like the rest of the members of the allium (onion) family. We leave a bad taste in each other’s mouths on occasion, but when the meal is over we all feel no longer hungry, we know that it is because we have each other that we are so much stronger together than we could ever be all on our own.
Sooo….WHAT’S in the BOX???
Fresh Garlic- You may not recognize this long lost friend of ours whose been hiding underground since last fall, but he’s back. Does not need refrigeration. See the extra thick walls around the garlic bulb that are normally a paper covering around the cloves. They have not cured or dried down yet. Fresh garlic is a bit more mild than cured garlic.
Head Lettuce- Maybe one more week of lettuce before we take a break from it during the heat. We’ll have lettuce back again in the fall. Enjoy it why it’s here. Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to preserve moisture.
Cauliflower- Beautiful heads of cauliflower. They do seem to bruise easily, so please handle them carefully. Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to preserve moisture.
Basil- Just a sprig for now as we are pruning the plants a little to encourage them to bush out. Does not refrigerate well, will turn black in the refrigerator if not in a plastic bag. Can also be kept in a glass jar of water and kept like fresh cut flowers until used on your counter.
Broccoli- This is probably the last week of broccoli until fall. Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Cucumbers- The first big week of cucumber harvesting. Lots more where these babies came from!
Red Cabbage- Beautiful. That’s all I have to say. Stores best in a plastic bag in fridge.
Yellow Summer Squash and Green Zucchini- Their flavor is remarkably similar. Stores well in a cool place. Does not necessarily need refrigeration, but no warmer than 50 degrees. Hope you like to incorporate these veggies into your diet as there will be lots more where these came from!
Bunch Onions- The return of the bunching onions. We thought we would give them a couple more weeks to fill out some. Stores best in a plastic bag in fridge with tops trimmed off or standing up in a glass of water in fridge with root submerged in water.
Beets- A small giving of red beets this week. This is our first beet harvest. Cut tops off and store roots in a plastic bag in the fridge. Tops can be used like swiss chard.
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 and perishable nature of produce, anything could pop up or go down hill unexpectedly.
Head lettuce, green onions, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, fresh garlic, swiss chard, carrots, cauliflower, peppers