August 2, 2016
What is in the VEGGIE BOX?
Beans, Summer Squash, Cinnamon Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Desiree Red Potatoes, Red Onion, Eggplant and Green Peppers
What is in the FRUIT BOX?
Adriatic Figs, O’Henry Peaches
Giving Thanks for the
Eternal Peach Harvest
Peachy Party- Saturday August 6, 2016
Family activities 2-6
Farm Tour- 4pm
Giving Thanks 6pm
Sunday Breakfast 10am
This event is free and open to all, but we do encourage donations for the food and libations
And please bring your own dinner ware and blankets to sit on-and please leave your pets at home
We sure hope to see you at the farm for the Peach Party
ORDER YOUR PIE OR A BOX OF PEACHES
We are once again making special Peach Party peach pie or will
have cases of peaches that you can take home for your enjoyment.
Let us know your order ahead of time if you would like a pie, we
will be baking on Friday just for you!
Box of Peaches $30
Just give us a call or e-mail with your order!
This Week on the Farm
This week’s newsletter is a good opportunity to say thank you. The Peach Party is this weekend, ready or not. It occurs at the tail end of the middle of a long hot summer, and the end of the summer vegetable quarter is coming up. Even with all these time markers, amid all the hubbub of planning for the party, and dealing with another mountain of produce due to be delivered today and tomorrow, the chances to say thank you slip by unnoticed. That is the true reason for the Peach Party, first in 1993 to give thanks for the events leading up to the purchase of our land, and now held each year as a way to take a deep breath and say thank you for what we are today.
Sitting here with the bright sunrise of the morning in Hungry Hollow just outside the window, memories and the moment sit side by side in my mind’s eye. In 2008, I saw my father, my brothers, and my son grilling Greek Lamb together. In 2009 my father’s place at the grill was two weeks empty. A couple of years since, friends from as far away as high school and college have arrived suddenly, family in tow, just to say hi and to celebrate with us. Long time friends, long time farm supporters, young starving farmers, passers through, all of these people are in my mind as I recognize what the Peach Party means to this farm. Returning to this morning, I look out the window and cannot help myself. I am overwhelmed by the vision. There is nothing to compare to both waking up and coming to work with the California rural landscape of the rolling, golden hills just beyond the garden. On a summer morning, as the slanting rays of the rising sun fill the garden, it is like being in a landscape painting, always serving as a reminder that we are part and parcel of a place like no other. As these two lines of thought vie for mind time, I see more clearly the place of the Peach Party. The old idea of the transient nature of our world, that a video of snapshots taken every hundred years of our farmland would not show any evidence of the Peach Party, and just a blink of our farm. The landscape just rolls on, changing through our efforts only as it must for a time and then returning to its roots. But I believe that the human events that occur on the landscape have effects, unknown and unseen, on that landscape. What we do matters to all. The lights, the smells, the circle of thanksgiving, the laughter, the smoke, heat and sizzle of the grill, the tables of food brought, the music, the small groups of people sitting immersed in the leafy screened sunlight, the mingling of all the generations of our human community, these are the positive and healing happenings that sustain and enhance the life of the eternal landscape whether or not they show up in the snapshots. So I believe it is not inconsequential, this giving of thanks at the most difficult time of the year to break away from all of the cares and anxieties of today and tomorrow. It imprints on each of us, on the farm, and on the landscape that surrounds us.
The Legend of the Grill
First of all it is important to know that it is not a grill, but it is too late to change the name. It is a piece of cast steel, a half inch thick and 3 feet square. There are two handles welded to the plate, one on each side to assist should you ever be the short-straw mover-of-the-grill. All the edges are caked with the remains of thousands of evenings around the fire, but the business part, the center 4 square feet, is clean as a whistle. I first saw the grill when I was about 5 years old. It lived then in the backyard of Manuel Antone, a Greek grandfather whose son, Tommy, was a close friend and fellow worker of my Dad. In 1955, the three men cooked a thinly sliced and marinated lamb, drank Greek wine and whiskey and smoked cigars, and my Mom and Bessy Antone tried the wine, talked and watched the big boys (age 3-7) crash into things and, draped in loungers, cuddled with the “little kids”. I don’t know how many times this happened, but by 1960, when we moved to Modesto, Manuel Antone had died, Tommy was a teacher in El Cerrito, and my Dad had inherited the grill, all 200 pounds of it. In Modesto, two or three times a year, Dad would buy a leg of lamb, quite an expense, from a butcher willing to cut it up to the required one quarter inch thick at the most!, and bring it home to marinate overnight. Now everyone thinks that the secret to a good batch of Greek Lamb is in the overnight marination, but the ingredients are simple. Garlic, lemon juice, oregano, and olive oil. That’s it. Proportions? It’s an art, not a science, but my Dad learned from Manuel that whatever you are adding at the moment: “More, More! You can’t add too much”. But as always in a good legend, there is a secret ingredient. And there, sitting on top of the basalite blocks, is the secret ingredient. Manuel’s old grill, a half inch thick and seasoned with perhaps a hundred years of family and food and olive oil and garlic and lemon juice and oregano and lamb fat cannot be duplicated. Jeff