Cultivation

 ‘Cherokee Long’ popcorn, with some maybe bad but definitely beautiful streaking of the kernels.

‘Cherokee Long’ popcorn, with some maybe bad but definitely beautiful streaking of the kernels.

Expected Harvest

Greens
Arugula
Bok Choy
Komatsuna
Lettuce
Spicy Mix

Veggies
Bean, Snap*
Bean, Soy*
Carrots
Fennel, Bulb*
Okra
Onions
Sweet Potatoes
Turnip, Salad*

Fruit
Raspberries

Herbs
Basil, Holy
Basil, Thai
Cilantro
Dill
Garlic
Ginger
Hot Pepper
Lemongrass
Mint
Turmeric

Staples
Beans, Dry
Popcorn

The Pickle Pile

Flowers

2018 Week 42, Summer CSA Pick-up 20 of 26

What a transportation this new weather has been. It’s hard to believe that I am on the same farm as last week, with cool greens to harvest in the morning, and a pile of crops to gather before the first frost. The farm sometimes — and I wish I knew which-times — runs up to 7 degrees colder at night than the forecast, which means this Thursday (36F) or Sunday (32F) could bring the fall’s first frost.

I am in full harvest mode with the cold-sensitive crops — like sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha, fennel, lemongrass, and hot peppers — though most of those can take a light frost before they bow out to a hard one. If anyone is particularly interested in freezing ginger or turmeric, let me know, as the technical term for the quantity we have is “oodles.”

To harvest the sweet potatoes, I broadfork the bed, which is just what I do to decompact it prior to planting. The symmetry wasn’t lost on my body, which reminded me that I did the exact same thing, in the exact same place, four months ago. Realizing this, I heard myself mumble, “Numberless perils,” halfway conjuring the lines: “Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started …” Said Melville, in ‘Moby Dick.’

Cultivation. That’s the point of all this farming. We plant our seeds, we tend, we harvest, we watch the coming frosts wash the year away, we rest, and then, rounding the cape, we do it all again. Because it permits and inspiries — and sometimes even demands — our own cultivation. I thought, as the sunset and I brought in the sweet potatoes. Work, rest, and cultivation.

See you on the farm,
Austin

 How do you spell unbelievable? This is the first year I’ve grown ‘Murasaki’ sweet potato, and really couldn’t believe the color when I unearthed the first one. The fresh washing makes them shine, so they might dull by the time you get to them, but there’s no image processing or editing here, aside from a crop.

How do you spell unbelievable? This is the first year I’ve grown ‘Murasaki’ sweet potato, and really couldn’t believe the color when I unearthed the first one. The fresh washing makes them shine, so they might dull by the time you get to them, but there’s no image processing or editing here, aside from a crop.

 What a rough afternoon, digging those sweet potatoes in a fresh breeze and a new autumn sun. Someone’s got to do it, though … / If you remember, it was a cold spring in the southeast, and our North Carolina sweet potato slip grower was several weeks late in getting them up to us. Also, we got 4 feet of rain this summer. The harvest felt fair as I went along, but the numbers don’t lie. Last year we averaged 165lbs per bed; this year, 80lbs. So interesting …

What a rough afternoon, digging those sweet potatoes in a fresh breeze and a new autumn sun. Someone’s got to do it, though … / If you remember, it was a cold spring in the southeast, and our North Carolina sweet potato slip grower was several weeks late in getting them up to us. Also, we got 4 feet of rain this summer. The harvest felt fair as I went along, but the numbers don’t lie. Last year we averaged 165lbs per bed; this year, 80lbs. So interesting …

 Because for the first time in a while my camera’s working, why not add another? ‘Cherokee Long’ again, with a few ears looking particularly glassy this year. These aren’t quite dry enough yet, so it will be just a bit before they are out for popping.

Because for the first time in a while my camera’s working, why not add another? ‘Cherokee Long’ again, with a few ears looking particularly glassy this year. These aren’t quite dry enough yet, so it will be just a bit before they are out for popping.