I spent the drive to The Cities trawling through our Year One CSA Newsletters on Facebook, posted a full decade ago. Memory Lane was quite a trip. The decade that has passed since then has somehow gone by as quickly as this whole season has. We’ve had seemingly infinite experiences in that time, which somehow elapsed in almost no time at all. Ten years ago, we didn’t have irrigation, greenhouses, indoor cooking, or gray hair. But Deb and Jim were steadfastly there helping through the harvests and the celebrations and the growing pains, and Widget ran by our side. A lifetime ago and just around the corner.
It was beautiful. I love having all these weekly missives to look back on – love letters from the foundational past, reminding us what it was, who we were, what we were, how and why we did,
After ten years, we have learned a bit. We’ve learned not to panic over every inevitable, unavoidable, unpredictable setback – learned that we had been wiser than we’d known back when we named our farm after the importance of finding peace and finding flow with our limited abilities to control, to even predict.
This was the worst year of drought we have ever faced on the farm. There was so little rain, so much heat, and wildfire smoke that made us sick. The spring crops fighting to emerge were set upon bu hordes of ravenous critters what found little to forage from the unirrigated woods around us. It seemed bleak at times, but we did what the years have taught us to do, and focused on all that survived and even thrived in spite of it all, and by the end of the season we were laughingly cursing our abundance problems, and this week it even finally really rained.
This year, some crops did poorly. Others flourished. We ourselves struggled here, and blossomed there, and overall were quite glad for the experience.
All year you have been making meals with what we have lived to grow on this Little Farm on the Barrens – the bounty that we wrested from the drought, the sand, the heat and the critters and the vagaries of weather and fickle fate.
In a very real way you’ve made this life we’ve lived possible, and for that, gratitude comes easy. The rewards of living close to the ground have been amplified and clarified as The Boys have begun to grow into their selves, profoundly shaped by the Farm and its rhythms.
Today I am a little bit sad, because the weekly CSA harvest cycles ends for another year, and although it will be less work, less hustle and strain, I will miss it; I like the weekly cadence of the harvest season, and I love to see the sprawling labyrinth of labor and love neatly condensed into colorful cardboard cornucopias …
Thanks y’all, It’s been a lovely year.
Inside Box 17
- Tomatoes – we really tried to fill the available space in your boxes with ripe, varied, perfect tomatoes. Note that one variety that’s really hitting this week is pink, not red, when ripe – if you wait for them to turn crimson you’ll be sad. Most of the tomatoes are ready to eat now but should also keep fine on the counter for several days. If you have too many, freeze them!
- Potatoes – POTATO LEEK SOUP!
- Leeks – did I mention POTATO LEEK SOUP?
- Brussels Sprouts and Greens (unless you’re Bree who hates them)– this is the part where you know your farm is organic … cabbage looper moths/caterpillars also love hot dry summers. We fought hard to get these tattered li’l guys to you – the holes are their badge of no pesticides and survival against the odds. The greens are the tender tops of the plants – if you roast the sprouts, toss these in too (after a bit, because they’ll cook faster), or use elsewhere like tender kale or collards.
- Carrots – the carrots in the box come in different colors, but beware – none of the are white. Those white things are:
- Daikon Radishes the not-carrots in the carrot bag
- Sweet, Sweet Peppers
- Sage – there are few scents so autumnal. You very well might use it with those potatoes and leeks
- Winter Squash (A tetsukabuto plus either a delicata or a Jester Acrorn Squash) – Eat the little one first, but put the larger green one (the tetsukabuto) aside in a cool park place for a few weeks, or more – the starches slowly convert to sugars making it much tastier, later.
The farm party is coming – on the 8th. If you;’re reading this, I reckon you’re invited and we would love to see you there. It won’t be hot with wasps and lady beetles everywhere, and it won’t be cold and snowy.
We’ll have a bonfire, and some good tunes and good pizza. You can chat with other good humans and with us and with our Boys, and see the field and the greenhouses and the woods and the array of shacks and shanties that we call Home.
We’ve made it around the sun again; let’s celebrate the cycle together.