News and Events

  • September 07th, 2011

From one extreme to the other—whether you are working outside each day, or just walking to and from your car, you’ve realized the extremes in temperature and moisture in the air…

Saturday morning had to have been one of my favorite few hours of this summer.  This might sound strange, but as much as I enjoy my time spent writing, answering the phone with orders, packaging, etc., sometimes I really miss just having time alone in the field.  Praying for rain and trying to “beat the heat” I started planting seeds with the sun came up Saturday morning.

We needed to get some lettuce, spinach, peas, turnips, radishes and beet seeds planted so I took my like seeder out there and before the kids got up, had several hours to myself back and forth across the field.  I had the most beautiful view of a sunrise, with each pass it got warmer and warmer.  When Lucas woke up he hollered for me off the back porch, so drove the 4-wheeler to the barn to get him and he “helped” for my last few passes.  ….the joys of working outside….

Despite my enjoyment, I was heart-broke at the same time.  I was seeding next to the edamame plants.  We really try to pair up what we are raising with particular markets (stating the obvious, I know), so like everything else, much of these “edible soybeans” were being raised for Grasshoppers Distribution (a company in Louisville who distributes many locally grown items through a CSA and we are “one of their farmers”).  With this being the first time we had raised this particular crop, we were watching closely, early last week we realized we were nearing harvest and we began mid-week with your CSA shares.  These beans are supposed to be able to be picked over a three- week period. Well, Saturday morning, I realized the heat had totally dried up (aka “killed”) the beans in a two-day period.  Talk about devastating!  Irrigation can only do so much, but like I said last year, “too bad we can’t air condition the field”!  It’s hard to believe that was only Saturday, and since Monday I haven’t been outside without a jacket on!

One thing is for sure, we can plan all we want to, but in the end it’s not up to us.  We have to be willing to be flexible with what Mother Nature provides.  We were going to be cutting tobacco this week, but good thing we held off or we’d have nasty, muddy tobacco going to the barn.  We are so thankful for the needed rains, especially since it has been gentle and has soaked in.

Shane and I both serve as Directors on our local Farm Bureau Board.  Last night prior to our monthly Advisory meeting we had the privilege of meeting with Whitney Meadows who is the Agriculture Liaison for Senator Rand Paul about a few “hot topics” effecting our farm.  Last night we focused on immigration, unemployment and the need to reform the guest-worker program (H2A).  We realize that we can complain about the “local” workforce challenges, but if we don’t channel our voice, we won’t be productive in trying to seek reform. As scary as it is, labor issues are handicapping the sustainability of American farmers continuing to produce a safe, affordable food and fiber supply to domestically take care of our country.  Just in the past year alone, the hourly cost of our dependable labor source has increased by more than 30%—that’s tough to overcome.  These are a concern and a real threat to all American families, not just ours.

At the FB meeting, we had the opportunity to hear from the candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture.  Unfortunately, Bob Farmer didn’t attend the meeting, but I had the pleasure of meeting James Comer.  I’ve kinda watched him in admiration as he is a full-time farmer taking his passions and concerns to the needed leadership of our industry.  I admire his view points in many ways.  He seems to grasp growth of all of KY’s needs—-from protecting our food production, turning vacant lands into cropland, certifying more organic production, minimizing unneeded regulations from government, phasing out crop subsidies, improving infrastructure to help more efficiently utilize locally grown fruits and vegetables, so on and so on.  Comer’s excitement and passion is contagious as he focuses on bio-fuels, embracing young farmers, farmers of all sizes, ag literacy, joining hands of all commodity groups within our state increasing exporting markets, while growing local markets—he seems to share many of the same viewpoints as both Shane and I—-I guess equally deep rooted in our lives-on-the-farm.  As a previous intern for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, I have to say that James Comer got me really excited to see how innovating and level-headed the next leadership could be for our industry and Kentucky.  He also got me curious about his opponent.  I came home and watched their debate that was aired the other night on KET.  In any way I don’t want to push any of our political views on any reader or CSA member, but I invite you to view the debate so that you can go to the polls educated and do your part for securing a bright future for sustaining Kentucky’s farm families and crops. Here’s the link: http://www.ket.org/election/, then click on “Candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture”.

If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while now, you know that we have grown quite fond of our workers—every last one of them.  From Jim’s pride, Joe’s long hours, Deanna’s attention to detail, the ninos’ endurance and ownership—they are just a great crew.  However, whether speaking English or Spanish, we sometimes mis-communicate.   This past weekend, I had added to the picking list “total calabaza” which all summer long has meant, “pick all the yellow squash and zucchini that is ready”.  I did the same thing for Tuesday’s work….happen to look outside to see our crew going through the field of winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc) with crates in-hand.  I ran outside and hollered, but it was too late.  The boys were sad, especially Agustin, who has done an amazing job this year helping everyone understand what needs picked—-he even offered to pay for the mess up—bless his heart!  With that being said, notice in your CSA share you have some beautiful winter squashes, just immature.  With the mind-set of not wanting to waste anything, I looked it up and yes, you can eat immature winter squash—cook it just as you would summer squash and it’s supposed to be quite lovely.  So, enjoy and hope you can join in our humor here on the farm.

Enjoy this week’s share and as always, I hope you have enjoyed “living vicariously” on the farm this week—-sweat to goose-bumps, dust to mud— it’s been a good week!  You will each get a selection of mixed beautiful hot peppers, heirloom tomatoes, cabbage, honeydew, striped eggplant, okra, cherry tomatoes, and immature winter squash.

 

Blessings from our farm to your table,
The Courtney’s


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