the Week 8 CSA News, in which we get stuck in the Barrens

The wild chokecherries are putting out tons of fruit in the Barrens around the farm, so we’ve been busy foraging them by the bucketload, to make into chokecherry jelly, jam, and syrup – great for us to enjoy, and something we can sell well at the farmer’s market, to make some money even though our vegetable production is still rather impaired by the slow and complicated start of our growing season this year.

Seems like almost everyone who sees it has fond memories of picking as a kid, or the tart, delicious jelly that grandma loved to make. (If you want to buy a jar or three, let us know – we could deliver with your box!)

The foraging of these wild cherries has us delving deep into the logging roads and fire lanes through the scrubby, sandy wilds. Usually, this involves our All Wheel Drive Subaru – but on Saturday night, we ended up accidentally foraging in the minivan. Down the two track dirt roads, into the wild curves, dropping into the valley away from any GPS or phone service,

Kristin, WWOOFers Jeff and Madeline, Otis, Ace, and Widget all aboard as we got confused about what might lie ahead, and concerned we might be headed into a dead-end difficult to turn out of.

So we turned around and started back the way we’d come. It had been a wild ride, but doable. Of course, we’d had gravity on our side. And now, it was working against us – or perhaps, in favor of us having a memorable adventure. In short order, we were well and truly stuck, the van having excavated a pit around the front passenger tire, the van resting on a deep, soft bed of sand.

The sun was setting, we were miles from anything, with two dogs and a baby. Fortunately, when I hiked up the hill, I was able to get phone service – and even more fortunately, was able to get in touch with our amazing neighbor (and CSA Member!) Marcia, who came and rescued us, as we walked down the road in our mosquito netting, as Otis laughed and cooed and thought this novel experience was the most fun he’d had in days.

The next morning, Neighbor Dave – the other half of the Marquardt Search & Rescue Operation – came out with his truck and helped pull the van out of the sand pit it languished in – freeing it up for us to go out the next day and bring home another few gallons of wild cherries – this time, avoiding the treacherous hill.

Back home, the summer is coming on fully, The tomatoes are ripening, the weeds are much more subdued, the fall salad greens are happy in their trays, looking forward to being transplanted out into the garden.

tomato plants taller than us and still growing
tomato plants taller than us and still growing

The mosquitoes are still pretty active, although less than they were a few weeks back. Rodents continue to pillage the crops, although their depredations are less noticeable in this period of larger and more abundant production.  Sounded like a couple of coyotes battled to the death in the woods next to us the other night, or maybe they were just making out, it’s hard to say.

No hay mulching was performed this week. And Otis is continuing to love life as a first-generation farm kid.

Week 8 Box – Stuffed with Summer

  • Mild Peppers (Bell & a variety I cant recall the name of just now)
  • an Eggplant
  • Tomatoes (Taxi,  Damsel, Sun Gold, Black Cherry, and Cherry Bomb are the first varieties to ripen)

  • Parsley – chop it up into your vegetable sauté? We had it in lentil patties (kind of like flattened falafels) …
  • Broccoli or Okra – fate decreed you received the one you did. Unless you’ve told us you prefer one maybe.
  • Kale – A few leaves of 4 different varieties! (The holes munched here and there are how you know we don’t spray pesticides. :))
  • Cucumbers – Babies like to teethe on these, as shareholder’s spawn Aster demonstrates here:

  • Zucchinis – you know what to do.
Otis watches Grandpa Ger repairing the defective outlet on our inverter
Otis watches Grandpa Ger repairing the defective outlet on our inverter
figured out why we were hardly getting any eggs ...
figured out why we were hardly getting any eggs …

and discovered a secret nest in the weeds atop the root cellar ... meet the new mama of 4 new lil chicks
and discovered a secret nest in the weeds atop the root cellar … meet the new mama of 4 new lil chicks

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