All posts by QueSehraFarm

Week 8 Newsletter: generationing

Well, it’s hot again but we did finally get a real rainfall this week – damn near two inches worth on Friday. This produced a bumper crop of cucumbers. Of course, by harvest today the ground was dried out again; Grandma Deb had to run water all along the carrots just so that we could extract them from the concrete grip of the heat-blasted field.

Speaking of Grandma Deb helping – have I told you lately how lucky we are that Kristin’s folks come out for every harvest and plenty more? Jim’s processing area roof is moving right along, and today he restored the Weed Steed lawn tractor – while Deb grandma-ed and assembled the harvest squad sandwich feast.

Back when we named the farm with “Sehr” built in, I didn’t really realize just how apt it would prove to be; not only literally making our living on the Sehr family land but with Sehr support making our lives there possible.

So, I guess here’s another newsletter about gratitude and about how yeah I have poison ivy and some of the winter squash plants are too far gone to save and it’s stiiiiiill dry and hot and that might be Climate Change and it might be the beginning of the end of human civilization as we’ve known but, maybe not, and in the meantime there are some damn Good things in our lives like co-existing with family and ripe wild blackberries eaten by the fistful in the woods and baby chicks and the vegetables that abide and help us do the same.

next ge

I love how writing this Newsletter encourages me to step back and think about the bigger picture, the larger backdrop that the drama of our problems and fears play out on, and to remember how beautiful and amazing it is, and how lucky we are.

Inside Box Eight

  • Peppers – (one green & a few jalapeno)
  • Cucumbers – a couple slicers & a handful of picklers. The cukes are rocking this week.
  • Kale etc Mix (Curly Blue, Scarlet, and Tuscan aka Dino aka Lacinato kale, plus a few random collard and Swiss chard leaves)
  • Tomatoes – (either cherries, plums, or a full-size) – the tomato plants are happy and have plenty of green fruit on them, but for some reason they are playing hard to get and ripening in slow motion.
watching the tomatoes theme music
  • Microgreens (Basil & Cilantro) – the cilantro is awesome in tacos. The basil is great with tomatoes.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Beans (Purple, Green & Yellow) – note that the purples turn green when cooked, if you’re into them one way or the other.
  • Carrots – we debated about whether or not to include the greens again. You got them. Probably for the last time this year though, unless there is an outcry or threats. Might be a good time to look up a carrot green tabbouleh recipe if you already did a pesto with them.
who got The Lovers in their box this week? (the carrots are the Lovers, not Marty & East Coast Pete)

Week 7 CSA News: Greening the Wasteland

Once upon a time, Kristin and I collected & watched all the old VHS movies in the genre of ” Post Apocalyptic Wasteland Warrior” films. When we left the grid, I abandoned my plans for a web presence based on these films. I never thought they’d turn out to be great preparation for our new life as an organic farm family.

OK, that might be slightly exaggerated.

But man. The drought has settled in worse than ever, in spite of the meager rainfall we received last week. The heat wave is back on, set to bake us in the 90s well into August. These dry roast conditions are beloved by the grasshoppers … and nothing says “apocalypse” quite like a plague of locusts devouring your crops. This morning we awoke to a world cloaked in a haze of smoke, blurring vision and infusing all scents with woodsmoke from the wildfires consuming the forests of Canada, not all that far to our North.

smoky hazy day

But somehow, all of this isn’t depressing at all. It’s oddly invigorating. I’m prepared. I have my V8 car and my fingerless gloves and a feral kid and a firm understanding of how to come out on top in the role of outsider antihero, helping peaceful agrarian villagers outwit the rampaging marauders.

And we even have an upbeat end-of-days soundtrack – all, day, this song has been in our heads and on our lips:

Rejoice! Canada is burning! Rejoice! The locusts are well-fed!
[Play on repeat for duration of Newsletter – I did while writing it … obviously.]

But seriously, I guess it’s because things … really aren’t all that bad. We are adapting. The irrigation quenches the thirsts of the rows of roots on a daily schedule. We refresh regularly in one of the several local beautiful swimming holes – which would normally be swarming with mosquitoes, back in the Rain Times.

The crippled, sad, disastrous Spring crops are being replaced by the heat-loving crops of Summer. And the field … it looks happier. The high tunnel is lush and lively. And we’re feeling it, too.

I spy a Farmer Kristin

The drought, the ravenous grasshoppers, the blast furnace weather … it’s all the context and the contrast that reveal our continued existence to be a bright and shining note of magic, luck, abundance, and wonder. We are here, and we are not merely surviving.

The crops may struggle, we ourselves may be broke and dusty and ill-prepared and overwhelmed, but here we are and here it is and we can see, with crystal clarity, that it is … wonderful. To have this opportunity to live this life is something to rejoice, indeed.

Hopefully, the food tastes as good to eat as it felt to grow it – and you can take a moment to love your own strange little life and its beautiful limitations and absurdities, while you chew.

Thanks for being out there to receive

Box Seven

  • Broccoli – it’s doing better, with the relatively cooler weather. However, now the grasshopper plague seems to strongly favor broccoli leaves … we’ll see how they fare. We plant a second round for the fall so que sera, sera.
  • first of the Green Beans or first of the Tomatoes there will be plenty more of both coming, for now, we had just enough for everyone to get one or the other.
  • Zucchinis
  • Cucumbers
yes that’s a cucumber – our favorite variety to eat, in fact. (Armenian White)
  • Onions
  • Bag o’ Basil
  • Green pepper – don’t worry / not spicy
  • Microgreens: Red cabbage, kale, kohlrabi or peas – we are going to order less-ventilated containers for these soon – in the meantime, if you’re not going to eat them quickly, maybe store in the crisper or in a bag … but really, they’re at peak-nutrition if you eat them sooner or later, anyway.
  • Carrots & Carrot Greens – carrot greens are a bit like parsley, and can make a damn fine pesto.

CSA Week 6 Newsletter

… the hen of the woods and her seven chicks came home. They’re thriving. We’ll have to name her.

I stalked two other hens that I noticed also had taken to sleeping elsewhere, and finally found their egg hoards – time ticking chicking baby bombs. Which aren’t a bad thing, in moderation. But when there are too many of them at once it can be a hassle (because Winter).

So we match wits and make deals with fate and fowl. We’ve maintained the same flock since our first chickens on the farm in 2014, and now I see individual birds less, as we witness the different lineages morph and move through time and new blood.

So, only one of the two new nests have been removed. We’ll see about the other. WWBWB.

In other news, there still hasn’t been rain. We irrigate daily but there’s only so much that drip irrigation can do under these extreme conditions. We are said to have an inch coming Wednesday night. I will be watching the radar like some watch a playoff game.

Yields are hurting but the plants do survive, and produce. We tend to overplant in order to compensate for the inevitable issues that arise, fortunately.

And that’s why we were able to have this stuff for you inside of:

Box Six

  • a Green-Colored Cabbage – if you don’t love cabbage you are wrong and should really rethink most everything. Seriously
  • Sugar Snap Peas – Survivors of the dry roasting
  • Zucchini – we tried this recipe and liked it enough to recommend it here. And it uses lots of zucchini. We’ve also been eating zucchini soup, zucchini pancakes, zucchini zucchini. It’s really versatile and it’s one of the only things in the field that seems to be just fine with the continuing drought.
  • Summer Squash – t!he two-toned ones are called Zephyr. What an odd word. But they’re tasty. Pretty much treat the same as zucchini.
  • Sunflower Shoots – we battle the mouse kingdom to nurture trays of organically-grown sunflower seeds into these. Tasty greens with fat and protein? Yes.
  • Microgreens (Amaranth, Kale, Red Mustard, or Italian Basil)
mint that grows between the rows

CSA Week 5 Newsletter – Hungry Whippoorwills

Well. It’s been a rough week to be growing vegetables. More incredible heat, and more incredible drought. We’ve been growing here for a decade now, and never had anything like this before – hot spells, dry spells, sure – but this is has been sustained and extreme far beyond anything we’ve yet faced.

The irrigation, which some years is used not at all, is running daily, trying to at least keep the roots somewhat moist in the dust bowl, I mean, field. We’ve kept ourselves moist as best as we can as well, with regular trips to local rivers, which both cool our bodies and soothe our spirits.

Kristin and Otis climbing back up from the awesome new spot we found nearby. A nearly vertical beach!

The rains keep dodging us, and it’s harder to find it amusing. It was supposed to rain all morning today, but then we got a tiny sprinkle before this happened (we’re the blue dot):

ugh.

At least the temperatures dropped, and the sun clouded over. And hey, there have been almost no mosquitoes! Although really, at this point, we’d happily deal with swarms of the little suckers if it meant the field got a good soaking.

In other news: a hen snuck away into the woods and raised a nestful somewhere … we’ll have to try to round them up.

Life and hope spring eternal.

Now let’s just get some rain please.

Inside Box 5

  • Blasted Broccoli – we mentioned that the crazy heatwave was having a strange impact on the broccoli; well, this is what happened. It’s kind of mishappen and a bit bitter, but it’s what we managed to save from this cool-weather loving crop. It’s probably extra healthy with anti-oxidants produced to help it survive? Might be best cooked rather than raw, unless you’re into this kind of thing. We are hoping that the heat settles down a bit, and the plants will go on to produce normal side-shoots.
  • Sugar Snap Peas – another cool weather crop that is being brutalized by the heat. Sections of the rows are surrendering to entropic heat death, so this will be the biggest pile of peas we can get you this year.
  • Slicing & Pickling Cucumbers
  • Zucchini – these are doing great anyway!
  • Onions – same onions as before, but bulbing up into full onions now.
  • Garlic Scapes – Kristin went and harvested a bunch from a local garlic farm yesterday morning, so that we could share them with you.
  • Microgreens 2 per box of either Red Cabbage, Curly Kale, Sunflower Shoots, Cinnamon Basil, or Lemon Basil

Coming soon …

Week 4 CSA Newsletter

We got a little bit of rain. Not nearly enough, but way, way better than none. Sometimes the heavier rain storm systems would dodge us like matadors, other times politely utter “ope!” as they turned to pass by outside of our personal space. But we felt the shade of lots of clouds, and enjoyed a couple of light but sustained rains.

Smatterings of rain, no matter how mild, are far superior to the convection baking oven thing that’s been so in vogue this season; even with negligible precipitation, cloudy misty afternoons were a much needed respite for the thirsty roots of crops and farmers both.

Which is to say it felt rejuvenating and I can’t help to think the garden felt it that way too. And that’s a good thing indeed.

Tips from Shareholder John:

Here is the method I have been using to store the green onions.

Also, I’ve been struggling with what to do with all these radishes and found this delicious simple recipe

Inside Box 4

  • RADISHES! – what about fridge pickles?
  • GREEN ONIONS! – did we mention fridge pickles?
  • Snap Peas – pea plants like cool spring weather, and plenty of moisture.; we are lucky to have any!
  • Pea Shoots – apparently many people stir-fry these, but we like them fresh, so we found this here promising-looking recipe and oh it also uses radishes!
  • Zucchini – the first harvested this season
  • Kales & Collards Mix – massaged kale salad might be in order. Because this is not the tender watery pillowy leaves from some hydroponic factory. It’s got character and gumption and it’s obviously good for us but you have to fight it first. Fortunately, they’re just leaves.
  • Microgreens (Red Cabbage or Curly Kale)
with mulching drought-delayed, weeds need whacked