Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beautiful Things

Hello there!
It has been some time since a Village Farm blog entry, hasn't it? Sorry 'bout that!
I am going to keep it simple today with these few words that reminded me of the beauty all around us lucky farmers.
When we come upon beautiful things . . . they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.
Elaine Scarry
On Beauty and Being Just
We have three hoophouses here at the farm. Two are full of tomatoes and peppers and one is full of flowers and basil. We might as well call Hoophouse One (or HH1, as we abbreviate it) a butterfly hatchery. This evening I saw a chrysalis attached to the outside of the rollup plastic sides. Uh oh. 

I collect nearly a dozen newly hatched monarchs out of there each day and release them to the wide world. They need releasing because they flutter and flutter at the plastic wall and arch, not knowing (apparently?) that the roll up sides, just a few inches below, are wide open. Anyways, the caterpillar stage critters are feasting on the butterflyweed, an ornamental asclepias, aka milkweed, as you see here. They pupate by hanging from a leaf or wooden endwall piece or what have you and then hatch a few weeks later. 

I thought this flower crop was going to be donated to the monarchs but the buds and blooms actually seem to be outgrowing the hungry caterpillars.

HH1 is a special place to me this summer.
I do love butterflies.

One of our best and oldest wholesale customers, Stacey Glassman of Swan's Way Catering sent me this picture several years ago from a butterfly house in Amsterdam. I never, ever would have guessed that we would have our own bustling hatchery right here in Freedom.
Ours is not quite so populated or diverse but I do so love to watch the molten wings and polka dot bodies emerge and then. . .FLY!

The vegetables are doing great here. We hope you are all enjoying this glorious summer. 
We look forward to harvesting the bounty ahead in the remaining 7 weeks and then for those who sign on for the Fall Shares right on into December.

All the best,