Well, it sure has been an interesting year, again. The most memorable part was probably the Battle for the Crops with the local deer army, I’d say. It was also our first year farming with two kids – and the combination of an infant and a boy was certainly quite a challenge.
We planned for it, as much as we could – tried to make things as low maintenance as possible … which really doesn’t equate to much ease, with a farm our size, without pesticides and herbicides and employees and tractors.
Although we had hardly any WWOOFers to help compared to previous years, we were kept sane by the steadfast, incredible support of family – Kristin’s mom and dad came out to the Farm for nearly every harvest day and market to spend time with the boys, freeing up Kristin and I to get things done .. as well as helped with innumerable projects, meals, and loads of laundry.
It would not have been possible without them, and I cannot adequately express how grateful I am that they are in our lives – not only because it makes the pragmatic aspects of farming possible, but because philosophically, deeply, we believe in the importance and value of living as an inter-generational family – the way our modern American society has degraded and broken this type of connection and support is, I believe, one of the reasons it is so sickened.
In 2013, I married Kristin, changed my name to Sehr, left behind my city life and moved onto this old Sehr family land, embarking on an adventure that has led me into a depth and variety of experiences that I’d never really dared to hope for. I live and work alongside my family, raising two new humans intimately connected to the cycles of the seasons and rhythms of life on this earth. It is all I want from life; I feel no lack, no need for more, no yearning for different … how lucky I am, to have found this life, this land, this experience of Being.
So thank you, Deb and Jim for your support over this last decade, and thank you, CSA Shareholders, for supporting us with your dollars and interest and collaboration, for another year. It’s been another enriching turn around the Sun; farming the Barrens, greening the wasteland, finding joy and bringing forth life and love from such an unlikely little scrap of land on the outskirts, within the borderland between civilization and the forces of nature that inexorably and patiently work to reclaim it.
This is Life. We are Living. Thanks, again, for being fellow members of our symbiotic network, it’s been wonderful to be supported by you, to get to know you, and get to feed you.
inside the final box
- Tetsukabuto Squash – You should wait for 5 weeks before eating these – the flavor will be concentrated in the flesh, if you can wait. Tetsukabuto squash has a relatively low moisture content and when cooked retains a firm texture with a pleasant starchy quality. The flesh is not quite as sweet as a butternut, but when roasted, its earthy flavor develops rich notes of hazelnut and browned butter. Will store for 4-6 months in a cool dark place. Here’s a good overview, or you can search for a recipe that looks yummy …
- Dried Beans – 1 cup dried should yield 3 cups cooked. Expect these to cook faster and don’t store them in a sealed container (paper bag is fine) as they are fresh dried beans, and have a higher moisture content.
- (Calypso, Cranberry, or Tiger Eye variety)– This year we experimented with several rows of beans that we let dry out on the plants in the field. We’ve done this at smaller scales for ourselves in the past, but needed to come up with a way to shell and winnow (remove the dead husks and plant matter) a much larger quantity, in order to share with you. Our old wringer washer was the secret to joining the industrial age … we ran all the plants through the rollers a couple of times to pop out the beans, and then dumped the output from bucket to bucket in front of a fan which blew away the chaff.
- Ground Cherries