April 18, 2017
What is in the VEGGIE BOX:
Chard, Snap Peas, Dried Basil, Oregano, Carrots, Beets, and
This Week on the Farm
I walked out to the compost pile this morning to dump yesterday’s kitchen scraps and was gratified to see steam rising off the top of the pile in the early morning sun. the dampness all around me and the sheer beauty of all of life reveling in the oversupply of moisture brought back so much of the first years of our farming, and the year living on campus in Davis where I first learned about composting from my future wife. Seeing water back in our lives and seeing the age old processes of nature that mankind first learned to use to better the existence of humankind, just brings a great sense of comfort that all might still be OK. And for that moment, it is OK; the imagined burdens of the immediate and far future fade in the comfort of the moment. This year, this spring, has been so wonderful in that way. The fact, one that I had clearly forgotten, is that in the middle of global weather change, in the years of an epic drought, it can still rain all winter and into the spring. And as it rains, all the nearby processes of Nature, dependent for the renewal of life on the presence of moisture, spring forth as if 5 years of scarcity were only a bad dream in a short night. And on a morning like this, all sun and clouds and steam and birdsong and frog croak, I let myself let go of the dark visions of my preoccupation with worry, and instead let flow in all the great memories that bring to life a real awakening and awareness of the special beauties of this morning and this spring. One of the better parts of having lived long enough!
In between all the spits of rain that keep the ground moist, too moist for planned tractor work, we are able to continue to move forward, a little bit at a time. Because two weeks ago, when we thought maybe this is the end of the rain and the start of the groundwork time, we were able to spread some compost and disc deeply the first two fields just before the onrushing rain, we have been able to transplant into that fast-drying soil the impatient greenhouse starts that we hoped would replace the January-February planting so necessary for nice full boxes in March, April and May. As late as that transplanting is, we do hope to see it mature in some warm, green, still days in May to ease the shortage that we are experiencing in our production at the moment. As a bonus, on Saturday just before the Easter rain, Rogelio and I were able to plant every long leggy tomato plant that we have planned for summer production into the long lines that cultivated, staked, tied and picked will grace the boxes in June, July, August and September. It is definitely, however, a good season to maintain flexibility of mind and schedule. On the farm each rain brings a new set of conditions and the interplay of amount and duration of rain, presence or absence of wind and heat, increasing daylength, and impatience of the farmer all work together to determine, almost on an hourly basis, what task becomes crisis or priority. We received 500 bareroot grapevines on Wednesday before Easter, and in the spare moments, have planted 25 Zinfandel grapevines, brand-new to our farm and the first brave pioneers in a half-acre field next to the citrus grove that will fill with Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet grapevines. It is a wild scheme, part of an alternate vision for a Good Humus future, where the production of a reasonable strong red wine for the purpose of sharing food, drink and conversation with friends and family in an unhurried meal at the end of a peaceful fall, winter or spring day. So much of Good Humus has started in just such a way, with just an idea and a moment. Along with our day-to-day itinerary, the excitement of a future with promise and the appreciation of the world in our lap are the bases for our continued ability to do the work of Good Humus Produce.
So while we have to report to you that the present is a little bleak in productivity, and that the boxes for the next month or so will feature some additional product from our good farming neighbors at Terra Firma, Durst organics, Riverdog and Full Belly, we are certainly having a hard time in containing our excitement for the possibilities of the future. Stay Tuned! Jeff
July 28, 2015