The night of last week’s CSA harvest, an insane wall of wind followed us back to Wisconsin, striking in the middle of the night, waking everyone up with howling and shaking and falling trees and debris thwacking against windows and walls. I’ve never heard the wind so loud at the farm – nor felt it so strongly … when I stepped outside to see the storm, it almost blew me over – my robe was flying straight out behind me like Superman.
Pretty neat, but I quickly opted to duck back inside in case it got stronger still. Fortunately, it lasted only a couple of minutes before settling into less gusty rain and thunder, and our damages were minor – several downed trees, a smashed window in the outhouse, a tree-hung chandelier that spun so fast it shed nearly all its crystals, some tomatoes and peas knocked off their trellises, and a whole lotta branches and random stuff blown all over the place.
The next morning, as we cleaned up the mess, we learned just how lucky we were, as on Facebook farm after farm not far south of us reported absolute devastation by hail – shredded row cover, smashed crops, and major losses. We often curse the way that weather systems seem to always skirt by us in the Barrens, but this time, we sure were grateful.
The crops are really taking off now, with the looooong sunny days boosting their growth (today is the longest day of the year, in fact!).
The tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, peas, and okra are all flowering … as well as many of the cool weather crops, which we’d rather were not! The bees are loving it though.
In the May newsletter I mentioned how the logging nearby had run over the remains of the “The Architect’s Land” – the amazing ruins of a 1930’s homestead built out of car body panels and logs – which we scavenged and salvaged to build the Rust Shack.
Well, we learned something pretty cool this week, from a 95 year-old neighbor who lived here on the edge of the Barrens for almost a century:
“The Architect”’s name was actually William Henry, and he used to own a 120 acre parcel … which came across the road … to include our land. The hill that our trailer and the Rust Shack sit on was known as “Henry Hill” – he lived on our land! So without knowing it, we’ve been rescuing the ruins of William Henry’s homestead and moving them up onto his old hill.
The more we learn about the local history here – of the Barrens and of our land itself, the more fascinating it becomes – and more it feels like home … exactly where we’re meant to be.
- Sugar Sprint Snap Peas – the very first arrivals – there aren’t many yet, but these are just the vanguard.
- Pea Tips
- Hakurei Salad Turnips – mild, delicate flavor you can just snack on plain if you want! The greens are edible too – you could saute them with the greens from your radishes perhaps!
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Romaine Lettuce
- Kale (Red Russian, Dwarf Blue Curly, Scarlet, and Dino …. with a couple token mustard greens for zip)
- Green Onions
- Garlic Scapes – the weird looking twisted branch dealies are actually the flower stalks of garlic plants, and taste like it. Mince them up finely and mix with sour cream or cream cheese for a tasty garlic dip, or toss it in near the end of your cooking.
- Grand Duke Kohlrabi