It was a beautiful week. The nights have cooled, and the days aren’t scorching. It rained, and then again. After a few rounds of blast furnace conditions, we have become heat-hardened, and are unphased by mere 90 degree days. Lightning bugs are sending their morse code dot dash signals in the dusk shadows. Mosquitoes are devoured by dragonflies in the sunlight and whippoorwills in the darkness of night. The breeze keeps the survivors at bay, other than a few that are met by the satisfying snap crackling magic of modern technology – tennis racket bug zappers.
We have a helper this week; California Ava has harvested for the CSA, weeded the corn, mulched the potatoes, and transplanted the fall broccoli and cauliflower. The potatoes look great, the tomatoes plants stretch up and out with promise that we can almost let ourselves believe,
Of course, it’s not all agates and bioluminescence. We planted a row of sweet potatoes in the high tunnel this year instead of okra. We were excited. So were the critters. At first we blamed ground squirrels, and then a rabbit. Even a turkey was a suspect. But it turned out to be our old familiar rodent nemesis; the local vole colony. They’ve eaten twenty-five plants off at the main stem so far, and avoided all efforts to trap them. Every day we count the empty spots, and every day the number grows. I hope they’re enjoying it, because for us it quite sucks; even the silver lining sad … this way, we won’t have false hope all season watching the plants spread and sprawl, only to find vole tunnels right through the sweet potatoes when we go to harvest in the fall.
The weeds … well, I’d say we are in balance. There’s room for both of us in this town, and both the crops and the weeds are thriving. We can’t kill ’em all – weeds or voles. We coexist, setting boundaries where we must, and singing “que sera, sera” where we cannot.
My fingers smell like garlic and my toes are stained with soil. I loved my city life, but I have never missed it since coming out here to the Farm to live in the seasons, on the land, with my people, close to the ground.
It’s wonderful to share the bounty with you all. Speaking of which, here’s …
What’s in Box Three
Salad – Six kinds of lettuce, and some spinach that somehow didn’t bolt in the heat.
Kohlrabi – You either know it, or it’s that weird thing that you are confused by. You could do all kinds of things with it. but for now maybe savor it in simplicity; sliced and eaten raw, with perhaps a little pepper and salt.
Spring Onions – so so versatile. We miss them all winter long.
Radish Pods – Zippy zips! Some milder, some spicier. You could probably sautee them, I’ve heard of them fermented or fridge pickled, but we just eat ours raw. Experiment and let us know what worked!
Kale – scarlet and blue curly, dino, and a few leaves that Marty accidentally took off of a broccoli plant
Red Cabbage Microgreens – color, flavor, nutrients, cool points.
Garlic Chives & Scapes – add the chives to a dish when you’re almost done cooking it (so the delicate flavor remains). Make a salad dressing, like an herb. Can do the same with the stronger tasting scapes.