We Dig Vegetables
Week 20, 2009
Well, what a week to end the season? If you came out to look at the gardens after the last week of hard-hitting frosts, or should I say freezes, you would agree with me that it’s time to call it a season. Last week, Sunday morning, I walked around the garden to see weeping kale, chard, beet, broccoli and lettuce plants. The water-filled cell walls in the spines on the leaves of these plants burst when the temperatures dip down into the low twenties. We could have handled temperatures in the thirties for another month or so, but when they get that low, there just isn’t much a farmer can do but start getting ready for winter a bit earlier.
As the season ends in such a harsh and blunt way, I seem not to care about much else other than the CSA members and how the experience was for all of you. I hope that in a month or so, when we all realize that the boxes really are going to stop coming and the vegetables really are gone, that in reflection at least, we remember the season as a good one and as a wholesome experience. I hope that I was able to do my job and go beyond by educating my members about what truly fresh, local and organic food means on the fundamental level. We are a mutually beneficial system. You provide financial support to us, and we provide the highest quality food that we know how to grow to you.
Week 19, 2009
I’m curious to know how this went for you. What was it like to be a CSA member of our farm this year. Did you learn to look forward to the boxes each week or come to dread ‘more vegetables’? I know that CSA is not for everyone out there, but I certainly think it’s a worthy experience to put yourself thru. It’s a challenge that most city dwellers, if not encircled by vegetable gardeners, may never know.
If you’re not a gardener yourself, surrounded by gardeners or a member of a CSA farm, you simply do not know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by beautiful, raw food. What a noble challenge it is it try and pack as many vegetables onto a dinner plate as you possibly can. When there are people starving in countries all around us, and in this country, consider yourself blessed to be a CSA member. Think of yourself blessed to have too much food and friends and family to share the burden with. I myself, take for granted how truly rich I am. Now, I would really be rich if I had a ‘personal preserver’, or someone to spend their every day finding ways to freeze, can or dehydrate as much of this bounty as possible and carry it into the winter months ahead of us.
Week 18, 2009
I wonder where the month of September went in the same way that I wonder where year s21-25 of my life went. This is how easily time slips away from me. I woke up one morning and I don’t know when it got cold outside or when the season changed, or when I became 26 years old. At this rate, I’ll be 62 before I know it. I guess I already have ‘one leg in the coffin’, as my grandpa used to say. How do I slow this down?
Farming is terrible for this. I became a farmer because I wanted to become closer to the essence of life and become part of what makes a healthy life. Clean air, water and food. An honest hard-days work and a supportive family to share a meal with me. I have so many wonderful people and elements all around me, yet it sometimes becomes easy to forget all about how good I have it, while my nose is to the grindstone. My American society rewards hard workers and tends to look past those who travel at a slower pace and take naps in the park. I sometimes wish I could take naps in the garden and go for bike rides before dusk. I wish I could figure out a way to surpass my neurotic personality and relax a little, is really what I’m saying, before I wake up and Spring is here all over again.
Week 17, 2009
Fall colors are starting to set in now. I sense that the garden is getting dreary. I suppose that we all have our limits of production, fertility and strength. She is running low on steam and getting sleepy now. I even find it less inviting to get up and get into the garden these days as the bright greens turn to lime yellow, the flower blossoms are slowing and the weeds are all seeding out now.
With over four weeks with no rain, this is not helping the garden hold onto it’s strength any better. Our fall cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and lettuce seem to be handling the drought better than you would expect. The radishes were almost a complete failure due to no rain since it has hardly rained since we planted them. The dry soil conditions make it easier for getting the digging work done though. We’re hard at it trying to get our carrots, potatoes and squash out of the field. We just started harvesting the first of winter squash, the delicatas that you see in your box this week. A long squash harvest ahead of us.
So much to do, so little time.