Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our blog: The Ghost Town

Hello out there!
We have been neglecting the blog these weeks and months, it is true. CSA Members can attest that though we may not be spending time with the keyboard and digital camera, we are most definitely spending time with the vegetables. NO neglect going on in the garden realms. We trust, with the web's nearly infinite recipes, you are finding good ways to cook all that the farm has produced thus far. We always love to hear from you and welcome your questions and comments. In fact, we save most of them for future consideration.

It has been and continues to be such a bountiful growing season. As compared to last year when we felt like cheerleaders--"Come on, cucumbers, you can do it!"--This year we are more like riders.. . it's more like trying to keep up with, or better yet, stay on without getting bucked off a wild horse. The Plants, as individuals, are all doing their things: germinating, growing, fattening, sweetening, ripening and finally senescing (shutting down) with only minimal input from their farmer-caretakers. As a collective, The Plants make up the vegetable part of The Farm. The Farm, with its vegetables, pastures, trees, bees, farmers, interns, children, dog, chicks, chickens, geese, cows, calves, is a hopping and happening place. Wow.

We have been eating. (An incomplete list. . .and in no particular order)

roasted garlic, roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil over pasta
corn on the cob
thai glazed chicken
tomato sandwiches
sushi salad
farm vegetable pizzas
yogurt-cucumber sauce
roasted zucchini with marjoram
pestos: cilantro, basil, parsley almond
more corn on the cob
watermelon warmed by the sun, right there in the watermelon patch
muskmelon cooled by the walk-in cooler
three bean salad
and scrambled eggs

Enjoying every bite, or at least striving to .. .

We have been building. A small sleeping cabin for the interns. Here are the walls being assembled in the driveway. Carpentry is a great change of pace for everyone these days. However, hammering is harder than it looks when using big nails and rough sawn hemlock, says HB.

And we have had machine visitors. Many of them. Our irrigation pond got a facelift this month, thanks to a USDA Water Development Grant for farms. There have been diggers galore: bulldozers, dumptrucks, the works. We also had a frost free hydrant installed as part of the same water grant, so we had a backhoe digging a trench right through our front yard! Then a combine drove through to harvest some barley in one of Andy's grain test plots! Then the Gold Top Farm crew drove in with their grass harvesters and clipped, wind rowed and collected the grass from the 25 or so acres of forage. The three boys have been entertained, educated and even given rides by these machines and their many operators.

And we have had the most amazing people visitors. HB and Alex, visitors for the season (aka Interns and Apprentices, interchangeably), arrived in early July and have not only fit right into the works here but brought their fabulous abilities to laugh and have a good time with them. It is a delight to have them here.
At this farm in summertime, visitors = helpers. Our dear cousin, Kathy, harvested dozens and dozens of herb bunches one 90 degree day and then played with the boys and cleaned the kitchen after that. (Pictured below.) Our friend, Meg, retrieved a Playmobile pirate ship (from her basement and from her youth!) one day and entertained the boys for hours with sprinkler games, sandbox creations and her unbelievably good nature. Our friends Michelle and Laura, played with Abel one morning so that I could harvest and work with the crew while Prentice was away. Other visitors have shucked corn, chopped tomatoes, weeded, watered and washed. We had only a few members for the work day last weekend but much was accomplished and we always say about these events, "It doesn't matter how many people come. As long as everyone knows they are welcome here, that is most important thing." Our farm potluck was well attended (message here? Eating is more popular than working?) however and there was an amazing spread of food and wonderful conversation going on. Thank you to all who came out for that!!
And weekly, our parents and siblings arrive to "visit" and get swallowed by the Village Farm vortex of vegetables, children, phonecalls, meals, clean up, laundry etc.etc etc. By default, they join the crew for the day. It is just how it has to be around here. I think by now everyone "gets it" but I do find myself daydreaming about stormy winter days by the fireside when a cup of tea might actually be enjoyed with a friend or relative.

CSA members have received a few emails of late. Blueberries from Stoneset Farm are in and are being distributed to those who ordered. Chickens are also still available. We have lots of basil that is good for processing but not too pretty to the eye. If you would like one or twenty plants to make into pesto, let us know and we will clip you some and have them for you at the next distribution.
We are at week 10 of our CSA season and members received:
Satina potatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini and summer squash, cherry tomatoes, slicing red and heirloom tomatoes, green beans, and a choice of either chard, kale or braising mix and a choice of herbs: lemon balm and stevia for tea (just cover leaves and stems with some hot water and cool on the counter, add ice and some lemon slices and serve!), lavender or marjoram for bathwater or potpourri, sage and thyme bundle or winter savory for cooking.
You can expect more of the staples next week but also: corn again, watermelons and muskmelons for the first time and more lettuce and perhaps spinach! Flowers will also be included again soon! So nice that people seem to love them as much as I do!!

We are looking forward to having a group of incoming Colby students here for a few days of farm work and learning over Labor Day weekend. Unity College students have come several times already this year and it looks like there will be another few groups this fall. We are grateful for these connections at both colleges. It is always amazing to have fun and interested young people here on the farm. We benefit from their willing, helping hands and we hope they benefit by seeing and experiencing the ups and downs of a small, organic farm.

As always, with so much gratitude for your support in the many ways you give it,
Polly and the rest of the Village Farmers.