the Weekly News
This week the zucchini and cucumbers are blowing up, sunflowers and okras are blooming, tomatoes and peppers are flirting with ripening, melons and squash are sprawling and fruiting, the hops are climbing, the cabbage is bolting, the peas are dying, and the bees are buzzing about the squash and borage flowers, doing their pollination thang.
The rains ceased, and the sunshine reminded us of what summer us all about. had to fix the irrigation line Gabe ran over with the riding lawn mower, to keep the crops from getting thirsty.
We ate our first and only ripe tomato, in a pico de gallo salsa on senposai-wrapped tacos, and we enjoyed the power of the Miracle Fruit – polishing off a big stack of citrus fruit that would normally make our mouths pucker up with a single bite.
Our friend Jacque came out on Friday and helped Kristin finish the tricky weeding and thinning of the carrot row.
On Saturday we woke up at 5:00 and harvested for the Saint Croix Falls Farmer’s Market, and had our most successful day there yet.
We had an insane amount of peas to go through (we’d been out past sundown the night getting half of them harvested in advance), and people were delighted to buy them at the priced-to-move rate of $5 per 2-pound bag.
We see a new type of insect pretty much ever single day.
The mosquitoes have died back quite a bit, the dragonflies patrol around us and over the fields all day, and monarchs are flitting around the milkweed we’ve left to grow for them. No sign of the dreaded squash vine borers yet, but we squished plenty of potato beetle grubs this week … (<– only click that link if you really want to see fingers covered in dirt & nasty bug guts).
We potted up the autumn batch of broccoli in the greenhouse, weeded the beans, parsnips, and melons, and planted some late season radishes – China Rose and Black Spanish varieties.
On Monday, we dodged the brutal heat wave by first hanging out at the Polk County Government Center in the frigid air conditioning (filling out paperwork that will let us take WIC and senior citizen farmer’s market vouchers), and then going swimming with the dogs in the cool spring-fed waters of Saint Croix River, right down the road.
We busted out Gabe’s metal detector and had some fun digging up random old junk from around the trailer – nails, cans, heavy iron plates, grill parts, rifle shells, and a sweet old folding chair, rusted and gunshot, but still useable … a perfect farmer’s market seat for Gabe.
Today we had some awesome help with the harvest – WWOOFer Abe, Tiny House Florian, and our friends Cody and Amy made all the work go by breezily, with lots of laughing and time to relax and enjoy a lunch of rocket stove-grilled brats, creamy cucumber salad (from a recipe from our friend & shareholder Lizzy), and an Asian peanut-sauce cabbage salad that Kristin invented.
Kristin’s dad Jim came out too, and built us a tarp shade canopy over the processing area, leveled some rough patches out with a shovel, and finished up the the semi trailer Barn stairs that he’d upgraded for us.
This was our last day with Choppy Abe the WWOOFer – he is heading to LA to start work at his new job. As we drove away from the Farm today, he remained behind, getting in some last firewood-splitting time with the Monster Maul he’d bonded with over the last few weeks of working with us. We’ll miss him – but we have faith that someday he’ll quit his job and come live at the Farm forevermore, sleeping in his car at night and chopping firewood throughout every available moment of daylight …
Overall, things are going great. We love being on the Farm, don’t miss the 9-5 routine at all, and feel more content and happy than we can ever remember being … we haven’t once regretted taking this leap – not even when the bugs are bad, the outhouse smells, the future seems incredibly uncertain, or the daily work is stressful, hot, sticky, itchy, and/or tedious.
Thank you all for helping make it a reality – we are loving growing for you.
PS – oh yeah, I almost forgot to include:
the Weekly Box
Behold! It’s a box packed full of:
- Green beans (just a few now, but soon the beans should be bumpin’)
- Snap peas (this is the end of the line for snap peas this year)
- Kale (Dino, Curly Blue, and Red Russian varieties)
- Bib lettuce
- Beet (and oh-so-edible beet greens)