Tuesday, June 16, 2009

News from the Farm

Summer Week 3: On Being a Locavore, Weeds, and Planting Winter Squash

This was written by one of our members in response to my dismay over having slow (and therefore late) crops this year - and that a member dropped out due to a lack of produce. I appreciated it so much I thought I would pass it along to you.

Let them shop Wal-Mart. Part of the larger danger, culturally speaking, is that so very many of us are entirely urban folks descended from entirely urban folks--as I am!. I have never been on a working farm in my entire life, and I'm going on sixty. I saw my first cow up close in a zoo when I was 15: I had no idea they were so big. I think part of what this locavore movement is about is people like me trying to reconnect to what has been missing (at least in my family) since some time in the mid-1800s. Some folks are not going to get it, but that's okay. You are not just growing vegetables. You are also educating all of us--educating us about weather v. harvest, educating us about (good heavens!) what really fresh greens can taste like. I had no idea. Absolutely no idea. I sauteed that bok choy with onion, garlic and ginger, a little soy and rice wine, and served it over broiled salmon. My husband commented three times that it was good. And (after 35 years) that brings his total comments on my cooking to maybe 9 or 10 remarks.

This week we have worked, worked, worked. Not only are we still short on farm workers, but we are trying to deal with planting and weeding issues. The wet fields have kept us out as far as planting goes, but causes the weeds to really sprout up. And sice we are unable to get the tractors into the field we have to watch them grow - and much faster than my crops. The rains have been good for the crops, but bad for planting and cultivating.

The worst spot for weeds are the carrot and parsnip patch. The crops start out slow and it gives the weeds time to take over. Sunday Jon and myself spent our whole day working on them. We managed to totally clear out three 600 foot lines of carrot. Now we have 78 more lines to go. Daunting? Yes, it is. But,it is also a nice field to work in, with the birds singing and the breezes blowing. And, I managed to clean that field last year, so I know I can do it again this year. If anyone wants to volunteer, let me know. We have plenty of weeds to spread around!

Yesterday and today we worked hard to plant winter squash. We managed to get over half of them planted before it began raining. Now we have to see when we can get back into the field again. Winter squash have a week long window for planting. May the sun once again shine on us!

Your box
Lettuce heads
Daikon radish - try a stir fry or add to a soup. It also is a great addition to a veggie broth.


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