We Dig Vegetables
Week 4, 2009
I have not missed the heat in the way that I miss strawberries out of season or the way that I miss fresh greens in the winter, or the way that miss my cousin in Baghdad. I have only missed the heat because of what I know what it brings with it. The heat and humidity bring ideal growing conditions for the tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn. The heat brings climax to a summer and it brings purging to my sweat gland. In all honesty, I greatly dislike the intense heat, more than I dislike the intense cold. My profession demands that I learn to acclimate to all weather conditions, so I have learned to find ways to cope, but I may never learn to love it in the same way that I could learn to love a painful life lesson.
Now that it is officially summer and we are transitioning away from the spring radishes and spinach and into the summer squash and carrots, the work load increases a bit, but we are ready. As the sweat drips from our brows, we experiment with damp cloths around our necks, sun hats and Adam has even been wearing a white towel on his head to absorb the moisture that seems to pour from his forehead. We are weeding onion beds, picking peas and garlic scapes and trellising tomatoes. We are planting the fall successions of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, and the sun blazes down. The heat intensifies and we wonder how it’s even possible for Wisconsin to get this hot. We laugh it off, but when the laughter is over, the sun continues to blaze and someone walks back to the house to replenish the lemon ice water and swap out ipods for our field stereo.
Week 3, 2009
I’ve never seen our third CSA deliveries looking so good! We actually had to do a little tossing up on what to put in the boxes this week. We took a look at what all it was that we had to give, and had to decided to not to give a few things because of too much quantity and not enough time to harvest it all. In years past we were finding creative ways to fill boxes, sometimes resorting to digging up wild burdock root or giving tomato plants and dried nettles from the farm. We’re quite pleased to see the season progessing along so nicely. Never before have we had broccoli in week 3! Things are shaping up quite well here on the farm. We’re in for a bountiful summer, providing that the natural disasters hold off for a while.
The flow of volunteering and worker-shares is also flourishing. I am reminded of the phrase, “If you build it, they will come” from the old classic ‘Field of Dreams’. We built this beautiful vegetable collage and more and more helping hands are wanting to be a part of it, and we are so blessed! This year we have 5 consistent helpers that have been coming to the farm frequently to either work for their CSA share, or to just learn from us about the CSA model and what it all takes to run a small scale vegetable operation like ours. If you add my sister, ,Julie and her boyfriend, Drew who are living with us, it makes 7 additional helpers on the farm! What more could we ask for?
Week 2, 2009
Another dazzling week of farm fresh food! With almost three inches of rain on the farm in the last week we’ve been catching up on our inside chores. Just before we had to start harvesting on Thursday we were able to catch up on the weeding in the onion patch. With the wonderful growing conditions for all of our yummy spring plants, it also provides excellent growing conditions for the weeds!
In the last week Drew’s parents, John and Linda, were here visiting for almost four days! We were so lucky to have them here because they provided an excuse for us to get in out of the rain and do a little relaxing. They’re website design folk who are helping us to create a new website for the Small Family CSA. We’re hoping to have the new website up and running soon! Newsletters might start looking a little different with a whole new format. The new website will also have a forum for members to talk about recipe ideas, how to use certain vegetables, and other pre-csa topics like splitting shares or what a half or full share look like. I’ll have to say that I’m pretty stoked about it all!
Week 1, 2009
We are beginning our fourth season running the CSA and we’re geared up for our best growing season yet. We’ve spent the last three years learning from painful, expensive and messy mistakes. We’re expecting our fair share of more painful, expensive and messy mistakes, but are happy to have the old ones behind us now as we are armored with more learning experiences and growing pains to carry us into this year.
Adam, Momma Jane and myself, Jillian are the ones who run the farm. We live here year round and understand the rhythms of this farm better than anyone. It takes all three of us planted here for all of the systems to function. This summer we are blessed to have my sister, Julie and her boyfriend, Drew to spend the summer on the farm with us. Julie and Drew have an interest in farming and a natural pull towards the country life. They’re here to live and work with us to understand some of the realities of the life as a farmer.
As a young person myself, I am pleased to see other people even younger than me interested in learning where their food comes from and how it was grown or raised. I feel lucky to have the young person on the farm be my little sister who I am getting to know as a woman and her male partner in life at this time. As we sit in the spinach patch and harvest your delicious, succulent, savory spinach we laugh, sing and tell stories. We talk about evolution, seed saving, old cartoons from the 70’s and what it means to become a real man. We’re learning and working and playing and praying all at the same time in the garden where your food is grown. Please hold a gentle image of us in the back of your mind this summer while you nourish yourselves and your families thru the delicious meals that you will create.