First, some sad news must be shared. Since we started this farm, we have been supported by our amazing neighbors – you’ve heard me write about Neighbors Dave & Marcia over and over through the years, and they’ve been in our CSA since the beginning. At the end of August, Neighbor Dave traded in his tractor for his wings. It seemed impossible to adequately summarize his influence on Que Sehra Farm, but I had to try – pulling together photos and anecdotes from years of this blog.
It hasn’t all been sadness, which is good because Dave wouldn’t have wanted it that way. For one thing, we got almost an inch of rain – for once, WE got the rain while everyplace to our north and south just had the dreaded thundersun. And that came on Saturday, just before the summer’s last gasp heatwave turned the broiler on.
Looks like this is the last day of that, before we’re reminded of sweatshirts and bonfires and all that autumnal wonderful. The last two farmer’s markets have been record breakers for us, providing objective and measureable verification that in spite of the drought, in spite of trials and tribulations of 2023 … things are, indeed, OK. I remember feeling optimistic earlier this year, when there was very little rationale for such optimism … that was around when I got to looking up the etymology of the word “pollyanna,” as I recall. But I was right! The boxes are bursting, the vegetables are lovely, and my recurring angsts are rooted in problems of abundance (OMG tomatoes stawwwp) (no, don’t please).
The foraging has been an abundance too, with hefty hauls of pristine lobster mushrooms and radiant chicken of the woods, while at home we smoked tomatoes and peppers, and roasted onions, and picked and juiced perhaps thousands of tart tiny wild grapes for jelly.
Hey foraging is a great transition into the part where we talk about what’s
inside Box 13
No, there aren’t mushrooms in the boxes, those were just why your box has that apple in it …
- One Wild Apple – So I was out in our woods with the boys, enjoying our surroundings and picking lobster mushrooms to sell at the market. As we picked the last in our patch, Otis spied a big beautiful chicken of the woods mushroom on a dead tree, in the distance. And then, as we finished harvesting the clumps of that, I looked up and was … baffled. Apples? Big pretty reddish apples? Yes. We found a wild apple tree, and the apples turned out to be quite tasty (wild apples often aren’t, as their genetics are basically randomized)! Where had it come from and why had we never noticed it before and how was it thriving in the sandy shadows? The mystery apples tasted like a little bit of magic, so we are going to cut some branches this winter and try to graft them to rootstock so that we can plant our own … and we thought it would be fun to share one with you. (The boys made quick work of the biggest reddest ones.)
- Summer squash/zucchini
- Beets – might not be many, but honestly we’re lucky that we got any at all
- Sweet Peppers
- Tomatoes – if you want a bunch of flawed ones for sauce, let us know because the high tunnel is producing them at Henry Ford production levels and it’s freaking me out.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Curly Kale
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Italian Basil
- Sunflower micro greens