News and Events

  • September 01st, 2011

When time flies, I guess we’re having fun, right!?  When I was pulling home a wagon of cover-crop wheat on Tuesday, it hit me that the end of summer is nearing.  Then, I’m starting to realize, even though I’m in denial, that many of the plants that we’ve been harvesting from for months are beginning to die. Where has this summer gone?

It’s all part of what we do here on the farm is work with the beauty of nature and the cycles of life.  Whether it’s harvesting tobacco and following up by disking the soil, to sow winter wheat to protect the earth from erosion and contribute back some organic matter (we take care of our land and it will take care of it), or watching an eggplant that has been very prolific all season long, begin to breakdown and loose it’s leaves, or walking through the watermelon patch to find nothing but a few sunburn melons laying above the dried up vines, knowing the enjoyment it gave to a young child this summer.  Farming is challenging, but it is rewarding.  With the onset of September upon us, it reminds us of the new life we helped establish in the Spring that has fed many, many people that is now slowly coming to an end…and the planning of next seasons crops will be rolling around soon.  On the other hand, it’s interesting to watch our later crops “coming on”….yesterday Deanna brought a zephyr squash up that was ready to be picked—-the new life of some younger plants as we will extend our seasons on some items.  And watching the little lettuce and mustard seedlings has been fun….kinda like a ray of sunshine in the process of many things beginning to taper off.

winter squash plants

lettuce seeds have germinated!

The last couple days Shane and Joe have been avidly working on preparing the grain equipment to get ready to harvest in a few weeks.  It’s exciting to know that here in a few weeks we will get to see the work of their efforts come to fruition as they harvest corn and soybeans.  These crops will contribute to the big picture of “feeding the world” whereas our vegetables, “feed local”.  It’s neat for us because as we diversify our farming operation, we are diversifying what we do with the work of our hands.   As important as I think that it is to support local, reality is that I’d like a bag of tortilla chips to go with my homemade salsa, and those chips originated from a grain farmer out there—so when you are driving on a county road here over the next few weeks and get behind slow moving equipment, take a minute to throw your hand up and wave to “thank a farmer” rather than some other signs we often get when moving slowly.

I hope you each really enjoy the diversity of the CSA share this week.  It is an awkward one for sure.  This week’s tomatoes aren’t going to win a beauty contest (oh, but the taste), and we hope and pray that all of your honeydew are actually ripe (outside signs of maturity aren’t error-proof), and the edamame may make a bit of a mess if you strip the pods at your counter, and you will want to wash (and wash) your kale simply because worms have nibbled quite a bit on them….but we hope that you will each realize the beauty in the bag. We hope you will look at picking and cleaning edible soybeans as a treat rather than a hassle. The beauty is not that it would win a contest for appearance, but it’s the beauty (and reality) of farming and/or gardening.

As part of this education process, I think we would be robbing you of much if we chose to only include blemish-free tomatoes, greens with no holes, or potatoes of all one size.  With last year being our first year, I was awestruck with the learning of how America could likely “feed our own hungry families” if we could figure out a way to utilize what “society” has deemed as inappropriate to purchase.    Some of the best tasting tomatoes are the ugliest!  Some of the best tasting corn is going to have worm damage, and what’s the damage in cutting out a “bad spot” in a pepper to eat the other 97% of it?  To me this is a beauty of the CSA relationship we share.  No, you don’t always get to have the beauty of what’s offered at the most up-scale farmers’ market in Louisville, but you do get to eat real food from a real farm….and with that a farm that looks at your food with common-sense, not one tainted with “societal standards”.  We try to allow you to experience the farm/garden as if you really did have one in your back yard….so dicing and freezing some green peppers would be the natural thing to do, when it’s watermelon time you eat lots of watermelon, the end-of-the-season tomatoes look like end-of-the-season tomatoes…so on and so forth!

picking watermelons for Labor Day

As the bulk of our “wholesale” season is nearing an end, we are finally getting the process smoother and life hasn’t been quite as hectic the last few days….which has been wonderful!  At naptime (then again before bed) the kids are absolutely covered it dirt from playing so hard, I’ve been able to take more time to enjoy our produce in our kitchen.  We’ve had some simple, yet lovely meals lately.  I have the luxury of getting to pair our vegetables with meat from my parents’ farm, or some of the farmers we work with nearby.  It’s such a treat.  Here real soon, we are going to offer some meat packages that would allow you to purchase ground beef or hamburger patties—so it’s something to think about if you like to have some local meat in your freezer for upcoming months.

One last note, we hope you enjoy the peaches very much. They are from our friends, Matt and Amanda, who recently began Mulberry Orchard, just down the road from us.  They are great people and offer amazing fruits (and our vegetables).  As we had planned to offer their peaches “a la carte” that didn’t come to be, so before the end of peach season, we wanted to get some in your mouths!  If you can take the time to visit them this fall—-you should.  Beginning this weekend, they will have apple cider and I know that Fall will be their big time!  Them, like us, are trying to diversify their family farm to stay a viable family farm for generations—-an orchard makes sense.   Enjoy those peaches!

A real quick chuckle for you—never a boring day on the farm!  Just a few minutes ago, I had to detour my writing because Bersael (one of the H2A workers) came running up to report a cow was in the vegetables.  He can’t speak a lick of English, so he was telling Deanna by moving his arm in the air as if swirling a lasso with urgency.  He knew that would be detrimental since she was over in the young squashes and cucumber plants.   So, Shane’s been a herdsman and eventually was able to get her back over to where she belongs.

From our farm to your home—have a blessed weekend and we hope you get to celebrate American’s who take pride in their work…whether it’s a farmer, a doctor, a secretary, a writer, a teacher, or factory worker—it takes a dedicated work force to make things tick the way they do.  We each depend on other’s professions.  Our hats off to you and together, let’s work in unison to teach our children a strong work ethic to improve tomorrow’s labor force.  If you ever feel you don’t have a place for them to “practice” hard work, there’s always some weeds here that need chopped!

Thanks for your commitment and enjoy these 95 degree days!

 


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