Work and Days

I could check the numbers, but I think we have about 100 varieties of flowers on trial this year. ‘Zeolights’ and ‘Bronze Beauty’ Calendula among them. The flowers are a few weeks away from profligacy, but there will be some to start the Summer!

I could check the numbers, but I think we have about 100 varieties of flowers on trial this year. ‘Zeolights’ and ‘Bronze Beauty’ Calendula among them. The flowers are a few weeks away from profligacy, but there will be some to start the Summer!

2019 Week 23, Summer CSA 1 of 26

First things first. I have a box of new seeds to my shoulder — from Fedco and Adaptive Seeds, beets and cilantro, Lebanese Squash and new variations of kale — and in the end-of-the-day sleepiness, their simplicity hits me square with a wave of thankfulness. Everything smells and feels right in this sunset, but especially these small things that remind me of what I first felt when I got into farming … because I am already, and still, feeling them. The whole season of summer like one long work week, and yet the hours of summer, sometimes, like days, with so many riches falling from them. We start June on the opposite side of Thanksgiving, six months distant, and how appropriate a date, because how else can I — could we? — begin this new season, but with thanks?

Thank you all for being CSA members to the farm. It is you alone who found what we are doing together.

Second things second. We still have room — ample, perhaps — in the CSA. If there is anything I can do to incentivize your assistance in the filling-in of those holes, please let me know. You are welcome to 10% of every dollar referred into the CSA for your efforts. I am not on social media, but if you are, feel free to spread the word. I have pull-tab fliers and quarter-sheet fliers also available. Just say the word!

On the farm, all has been lush — but not too lush! — and busy, with some anomalous heat to speed along our crops. What looks like a snake in the grass, but has for so long been just a stick, or a strap, or a hoe, is now in fact a snake in the grass. The cedars waft their melted sap across the fields. And at night the fire flies constellate every possible tree row like lighting in the clouds. As to the crops, most of our experiments have fallen into the win side of the ledger, though a few — particularly the 3rd planting of tomatoes, and the early germination of sweet peppers — haven’t. Strange to say, but the galling feeling that comes from some of these losses turns into the excitement I feel in fall when I make the new plan. Because this time all the quarters are coming up heads.

As for that, the 2019 season is essentially in the books, and I have for a few months already been planning 2020. Strange to say, I admit, but so it goes in farming. As I have elsewhere noted, we spend the fall designing, the spring building, and the summer staying out of the way of the contraption we dreamt up. Or as others have said, first we sow, and then we reap. Here’s to the odd ease of summer — with its sane, rhythmic schedule — because what is more easy, after all this work, than reaping it? Ha.

All my best,
See you on the farm,
Austin

PS: Tell your “I’m not quite ready for a CSA” friends that the Farmstand opens this week! Thursdays, 3-7pm.

Expected Harvest

Greens
Chard
Kale
Lettuce
Asian Greens

Veggies
Bean, Snap
Broccoli
Pea, Shell
Pea, Snap

Roots
Kohlrabi
Radish, Salad

Fruit
Raspberries, Frozen
Strawberries, Frozen

Herbs
Ashwagandha
Dill
Dried Herbs
Garlic, Scapes
Hot Pepper, Frozen
Mint, of some kind
Turmeric, Frozen

Flowers

Althea Bread
Specials of the Month:
June 5th: Oat Porridge
June 12th: Flax Seed
June 19th: Einkorn
June 26th: Herbs de Provence and Olive Oil

After a few bed-prep hiccups, the dry beans and corn are in. The grits / polenta corn — Tennessee Red Cob — was too fat for the push seeders I have, so I tried a new — rather, ancient in design — jab seeder, putting them in seed-by-seed. It was only a few minutes into it, sweeping my foot to cover the seed as I went, that I remembered this old line of Hesiod’s. “A few thousand years old” old, to be inexact. I don’t have my copy here, but an internet translation has it as such:   Pray to Zeus of the Underground, and to holy Demeter, that the sacred grain of Demeter may become heavy with ripeness, as you begin the plowing, laying hold of the end of the plow-handle and coming down on the backs of your oxen with a switch as they pull at the yoke-pole with their strappings.  Standing a bit further back, the servant who has the mattock should give the birds grief as he makes the seed disappear inside the earth.  Good management is the best thing for mortal men, while bad management is the worst.

After a few bed-prep hiccups, the dry beans and corn are in. The grits / polenta corn — Tennessee Red Cob — was too fat for the push seeders I have, so I tried a new — rather, ancient in design — jab seeder, putting them in seed-by-seed. It was only a few minutes into it, sweeping my foot to cover the seed as I went, that I remembered this old line of Hesiod’s. “A few thousand years old” old, to be inexact. I don’t have my copy here, but an internet translation has it as such:


Pray to Zeus of the Underground, and to holy Demeter,
that the sacred grain of Demeter may become heavy with ripeness,
as you begin the plowing, laying hold of the end of the plow-handle
and coming down on the backs of your oxen with a switch
as they pull at the yoke-pole with their strappings. Standing a bit further back,
the servant who has the mattock should give the birds grief
as he makes the seed disappear inside the earth.
Good management is the best thing
for mortal men, while bad management is the worst.

This wasn’t the first time I noticed this, but it was the first time with a camera around to get the proof: I have enormous fingers.

This wasn’t the first time I noticed this, but it was the first time with a camera around to get the proof: I have enormous fingers.

We found a few friends on the Friday Field Walk. This has been a much warmer spring than the last, and with a rain schedule permitting proper cultivation — i.e., weeding — of the fields. Carrots much appreciate the love. We’re not more than a month out — likely sooner — from their harvest.

We found a few friends on the Friday Field Walk. This has been a much warmer spring than the last, and with a rain schedule permitting proper cultivation — i.e., weeding — of the fields. Carrots much appreciate the love. We’re not more than a month out — likely sooner — from their harvest.

What governs the fall of a sparrow, one wonders. And also its rise? A bee is so inestimably light in one’s hand. It also feels infinitely precious … and for that reason weighty. How on earth, all this? Spring is a good time for these feelings of the miracle of being.

What governs the fall of a sparrow, one wonders. And also its rise? A bee is so inestimably light in one’s hand. It also feels infinitely precious … and for that reason weighty. How on earth, all this? Spring is a good time for these feelings of the miracle of being.