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May 16, 2017

 

 

What is in the VEGGIE BOX: Snap Peas, Chard, Red Leaf Lettuce, Rosemary, Cherries, Strawberries, Spring Red Onions, and Asparagus

 

 SUMMER QUARTER

Payment is due NEXT WEEK May 23

Please send in your quarter form or contact us if you are not going to continue for the summer quarter

The summer quarter begins May 30 and ends August 15

 
 

This Week on the Farm

               The cherry saga continues.  I just cannot let it go, any more than I can let go of grapes or apricots or organic farming.  What I can say is that we are sending you some cherries.  Our first trees-a Bing cherry was planted probably 15 years ago as a present to Annie on Mother’s Day.  Since then we have planted early Burlats and a single Van for pollination.  Like any other endeavor on this farm it has been a long observation and learning experience under constantly changing conditions.  Each year I get a little further along on managing conditions so that we can get something from the bounty provided.  Cherries have turned out to be especially difficult here, with lots of pests, new and old that we either tolerate or not.  Birds we tolerate, grow the trees tall, plan on massive yields to placate their appetites and ours too.  Birds are manageable and fit in to our diversity.  Just as the robins love the grapes and the vineyard, the jays and crows love the cherries.  Well, we love the jays and crows (yes, really) and to give them some cherries for a treat in a hard life is ok.  Worms which are the larvae of the cherry fruit fly, are another matter.  We are still working on that puzzle, they are a new pest to California, just snuck in under the radar, and unfortunately seem to love our diverse fruit cropping.  They start early in the residue of our citrus harvest, I think and them move right into the preferred cherries.  So we have them worse than other less diversified farms.  Well that is the way it goes, and presents us with the puzzle.  They ruined the Burlats crop, homing in on the just ripening dark red cherries before we could start.  But we had started an attractant spraying program, spraying the trunk and ground with an organically approved attractant mixed with a bacteria.  It wasn’t enough to save the Burlats, but did manage to knock the numbers back enough that we have been able to pick you some Bing cherries and some Van Cherries.  The Vans are the rosy ones, which are less attractive to the fruit fly which seems to prefer the darker colors.  We had to pick them earlier than we would like, and you may find a small larvae even though we have checked them carefully.  But for now it is the best we can do. We are really appreciating what we get, even though they are not the same as the ones I remember climbing trees in our front yard to find before my Mom stopped me.   So we pass them on to you.  So glad, after 15 years, to have a few.  Jeff

 

 

                Mother’s Day 2017-My fondest memories growing up were our family holidays when my mom’s sisters and brothers would come together at the ranch in Santa Rosa. There were five sister and brothers with a dozen kids gathering around our matriarchal grandmother plus extras in-laws, and other friends. It was always an event; my grandmother had a huge flower garden, expansive lawns, toy tractors and wagons for the kids to drive the sidewalk that circled the entire house-a great fun road way to drive our parent crazy, there even was a playhouse for us too. My grandmother was an entertainer with tables, umbrellas, flowers decorating the tables, she was the silent doer, and her children grew up doing everything with her. And when it came time to serve the dinner, which what these events were really all about, an excuse to create a feast for the families, all of my mom’s sisters and brothers were in the kitchen with my grandma carving the turkey, mashing the potatoes, making the salads, they all seemed to know their jobs-they must have had the same jobs all their lives in the kitchen. But they were a team, and of course there was a lot of joking, talking and hubbub that went with those moments. I wish so much I could be there again, watching them work together-my mom is now the last standing of her sisters and brothers.

 

               This weekend was a big one for us at Good Humus, not your typical Mothers Day weekend with the expected Champagne brunch and leisurely quiet afternoon with family gathered around. We had our Hats and High Tea event on Saturday with Ali, Claire and I putting it together along with Amanda Hawkins the chef and Julia Thomas, and Jordan Dixon helping to pull it off. This was our 4th year and in the past we have had about 18 attendees. This year Claire took it under her wing to market the event early so we could reach our goal of 30. Well she gets 5 gold stars because we ended up with 37 and a waiting list! Which of course made us nervous, but we took up the challenge and I believe pulled off the most beautiful, relaxed event ever! In the mean time, Jeff and Zach and Nolan went to the Saturday Davis Farmers Market and sold out of flowers by 10am! A record to our memory. When the day was done Jeff got home from market, shopping and delivering, we still had a house full of dishes to wash. Sunday morning brought us the second event of the weekend-the Capay Valley Garden Tour. We join in on the tour, as all the tables are in place, the garden is weed free, there is a market stand set up so why not? Claire was this year’s event coordinator for the garden tour, and when she got up she said we had better be ready because there as a record number of tickets sold and we had better get ourselves ready for the masses. I never got my hair combed, or dressed for visitors, because by 10 we were still getting organized-Ali and I were giving workshops on flower crowns, and corsage making so we needed to get supplies together. We served tea, answered questions about the garden, Zach and Nicole arrived and joined in with whatever was needed. Claire’s boyfriend Daniel helped sell jams and jellies at the farm stand-Jeff tried to hide out, but got pulled out to talk to new neighbors that are starting to farm, and old friends that wanted to see our new vineyard. It was nonstop, and in the middle of it, my mom sat in her tooter scooter and people watched and chatted with those that stopped near her. She was the center matriarchal rock which all whirled around: my garden full of flowers came from her garden and her mother’s garden in Santa Rosa. My knowledge of the plants came from her love of the garden, and my grandmothers before her. And our children were working as a team, chatting with folks about the farm, the plants, cutting rosemary for the head crowns, or selling plants form the nursery or dried fruit at the stand-all those years selling at the farmers markets has giving our kids the ability to talk to strangers without a bat of the eye, or growing up on the farm-they know that they will have to problem solve daily and there is not time for pause for a mental check out.

In the afternoon I finally took a pause, and realized that we had only snacked all day, so I asked Zach’s wife Nicole if she would make us some chicken for dinner when everyone was gone. Jeff had wanted to have our own Mothers Day picnic in the evening. When the last person took the last round of garden peeping, asked the last question, we all walked into the house-full of a mess everywhere, except the kitchen table where Nicole had prepared a High Tea Feast using the layered tea trays filled with little sandwiches and cheeses, and on the side a huge platter of chicken and roasted vegetables. It was a beautiful site, and our family all sat down to a wonderful Mothers Day feast thanks to Nicole.

  

              As we were eating I tried to tell my family how I felt about the weekend, and how proud I was of the part that each of them played in making all our events so successful, but I know I didn’t convey how deep I felt it-or how much it meant to me. It brought back those early childhood memories that I started this piece with; where the family is together making a moment more special by doing it together. As exhausting as the weekend was it was the best Mothers Day for me-I am so proud of my children and who they are, what they can do, and know that they love this place they call home, and are proud of what Jeff and I have created. The tradition of the family working together as a team no matter the differences and with the our grandson Nolan, the next generation watching and experiencing those moments as I did as a kid makes me so happy. Have a great week~Annie

    This Weeks Newsletter

July 28, 2015