Take my hand baby, we can make it I swear.
Yeah, it’s that week again – 9 weeks through the 18 week season. Can you eat all that is still coming? Or can we even continue filling boxes for you? Stay tuned!
This week winter crept closer. Normal people probably don’t notice. It feels just like summer, after all. We went swimming in the river and got almost sunburned and the tomatoes have only just started to ripen! Surely it is some kind of mental disorder making me type such foreboding nonsense? Well, my egg is no doubt a bit scrambled, but the slide toward woodstove heat and killing frosts has come and those who live close to the ground up here in the northwoods can sense the subtle but definite change.
It’s still a ways away, of course, and awareness of the inexorable approach occupied only fleeting moments of awareness in a week of long days of eternally sunny Now.
In the Barrens, the blackberry harvest was meager this year due to the timing of the drought – however, it looks like the wild cherries are abundant to an extent we haven’t seen for four years. The chokecherries weren’t quite ripe but are on the cusp – and we discovered a new species of wild cherry we had never found before; Prunus pumila, the Sand Cherry. Larger and lower, they ripen sooner; we made a test batch of jelly and it was delicious! Looking forward to an abundance of wild cherry jelly, rather than mourning the absence of blackberry jam.
The lobster mushrooms are popping, and we hope that the rain we finally had this weekend (over an inch over two days – first time for months!) will prompt the chicken of the woods to come out as well.
On the farm, the melons are ripening, and the weeds are going to seed. A couple of abandoned rows have been filled with towering, ridiculously lush weeds; today we discovered we had forgotten to turn off the irrigation in those rows, and so have been giving the lambs quarter and ragweed therein luxurious spa treatment daily waterings for weeks now. Coexisting is one thing, this was just silly.
The rain came just in time – even with daily irrigation, the crops were showing signs of stress – the inch we got should keep them happy for a few days.
Deer are jumping the fence again with increasing appetite, the rodents continue their depredations of the south central field in spite of losing a few comrades to our carefully-laid traps. We haven’t fixed a couple of leaky junctions in the irrigation hoses because the resultant puddles have brought leaping green frogs to the field and we like having them around. There are still almost no mosquitoes around, and the biting flies retreated with the end of the last hear wave. Generally, there seems to be little insect pest presence in the field this year – although the mammals are working hard to make up for it. At least the ones that eat chickens seem to have moved along; our Squad ranges freely all day every day again, learning to find seasonal sustenance in their surroundings (from wild foraging to begging from the most susceptible humans).
It’s a Good Life full of Good Problems to Have, and I’m so aware of how lucky we have been to have found a way to sustain ourselves while living this lifestyle, as a family, among friends and forces of nature, in a place with room for a garden and with time to for us to grow it, and share it with you …
inside Box Nine
With melons taking up so much space, we switched to larger boxes! (insert this reminder here about being careful not to rip the tabs when you flatten your boxes ahem yes).
- Melons – two of either Sarah’s Choice, Hannah’s Choice (both cantaloupes), Arava (green fleshed yellow skinned tropical), Torpedo (long yellow with crisp pale flesh), and some other one we can’t remember the name of right now.
Every box has one melon that should be perfect right now – ripe and delicious, and one melon that is at least pretty darn alright. Try to sniff them and figure out which the ideally ripe one is and eat it as soon as possible. Or at least refrigerate it!
- Beans or Cherry Tomatoes – the beans are ending and the tomatoes are beginning; this week some boxes will get cherry tomatoes while others get beans.
- Two Eggplants – Italian and Thai or two of the same
- Green Peppers – or maybe a purple one. But it’s basically a green pepper.
- Carrots – The weeds in the carrot row got rowdy, and the drought meant we couldn’t thin them out because they were cemented into the parched ground. Think of it this way – they aren’t stunted, they’re True Baby Carrots, not big carrots tumbled and ground down into little nubs like at the store.
- Broccoli – these plants have been a little bit depressed about the drought but they’re pretty emotionally resilient vegetables.
- Zucchini – yes
- Cucumber – indeed
- Micro Mix – kale, amaranth, broccoli, red cabbage, and radish
- Sunflower Shoots – back by popular demand
and on and on and on and on and on the river flows