CSA Week 2 Newsletter – Boredom is More Frightening

Well, today got off to an intense start and I’m coming down off the adrenaline now.

This morning, we wanted to fill up some rinse water basins for the salad mix. Our solar battery bank was a bit low, so I started up our generator in order to run the well. It started up LOUD, way way louder than usual. This was a concern, but we needed to water and it was still putting out electricity properly, so I let it run hoping it would settle down and smooth out. It did not settle, nor smooth. It started on fire.

Blowing on it was futile. It spread to the plastic housing. A little water from a nearby bucket wasn’t enough. The fire got larger inside the generator as it spread. The hose to the mushroom logs did the trick, and the fire was stopped before it spread or exploded.

Fortunately, it was still under warranty, and we had our old one (functional but loud as bellowing hell) on standby. But dang.

Glad it happened today, and not on Sunday – when we’d left it running unsupervised for 4 hours (watering the crops with the drip lines in each row … have I mentioned it doesn’t rain here anymore?) while we went to wade and float in the Saint Croix.

And here I’d thought I’d had my peak adrenaline moment of the week on Friday morning.

I woke up at 5:30 with the sun, trying to make sense of what I was hearing from outside. Something was .. yelling? Repeatedly. From down by the chicken yard? I threw on my robe and headed toward the sound.

I started recording – capturing the unusual cry for identification purposes, suspecting that whatever it was might hear me coming & disappear before I could see it.

But as I got nearer and nearer to the sound’s source – inside the chickenyard fence), it did not run away and I rounded the last tree trunk in the way, expecting to see a fox or maybe a fisher cat or coyote but definitely not a black bear cub and oh cute oh shit where’s Mom and I turned around and got of there and that’s in the video too:

stalking the mystery sound

Momma had led her cub into the chicken yard and then climbed over the fencing to knock over the garbage can with the chiclen feed inside.

smashed fence and bashed chicken feed: taken from safety atop the semi trailer

But baby couldn’t follow her over the crushed fences and got stranded. After spending some time up in the tree yelling “MOM!” over and over, he came down, met our flock, and found his way back out into the woods the way he’d come. Ten minutes later his cries stopped and we knew Mom had found him.

The next night I set up a game cam to see if they came back, but instead discovered we have an obese raccoon with no tail and strange lumps hanging out in there at night.

I don’t know, it’s been one of those weeks. Maybe for you too.

But I guess interesting times don’t seem like much of a curse to me.

Inside Box 2

In other news, there is a farm happening here. There is no rain happening. It is unclear if rain will ever happen, or has ever happened. It is not as hot as last week, though. And the clouds are beautiful. Oh, right, the farm … the weeds are being countered, the irrigation working hard to save lives. Zucchini is flowering. Some tomatoes are forming. The crops are not flourishing, but they are surviving.

The dude abides.
  • Salad Mix (Red & green lettuces, arugula, pea tips, bekana, maybe a leaf or two of mizuna)
  • Green Onions – they are starting to bulb a bit …
  • Radishes – oddly, this batch was in much better shape than the last week’s radishes. Milder and better formed. Delicious roasted. Don’t forget to chop off the greens before storing so the bulbs don’t get squishy! The greens can be either cooked, or blended into a pesto … which would a great idea to combine with the …
  • Garlic Scapes – we scavenged these off the Free List from a local gardener to share with y’all. The flower of the garlic plant, basically, full of flavor. Chop finely and treat like raw garlic in whatever you’d like.
  • Microgreens – either Red Cabbage or Kale
  • Cilantro – god I love the way it smells. This is the last of it for the foreseeable future due to the hot weather. Tastes a little bit coriander-esque because it was starting to bolt.
  • Fresh-ground corn meal – use this ASAP for maximum freshness!
  • We grew it last year, dried it over the winter, and shucked, stone-ground, re-stone-ground, and sifted it for you yesterday. It totally made my day when the random amount of cobs that we pulled out to process turned out to make EXACTLY the 44 cups worth of finished product that we needed for you! Want to get excited about your corn meal? I want you to, too. So here read this: The Search for Mandan Bride
  • Rhubarb Chutney – We had rhubarb to share! Chutney is like …a sweet and savory tangy chunky barbeque sauce, kinda. Use with meat or perhaps tempeh, if you are a vegetarian. Here’s the recipe we used if you’re curious about ingredients or anything.

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