February 7, 2017
What is in the VEGGIE BOX, Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leeks, Dried Basil, Grapefruit and Cilantro
What is in the FRUIT BOX? Oranges, Ruby Grapefruit and Raisins
Spring Quarter Starting Feb 28
Payment due February 21
The new quarter begins February 28 and ends May 23th
Spring Break with NO DELIVERY April 11 and April 15
Plant Sale April 22
Hats & High Tea May 13
Mother’s Day Garden Tour May 14
This Week on the Farm
This photo was taken by Ali on the way home from a delivery today. This is one of the roads about a mile from the farm….Well, of course, the story is wet. Out on the farm that means mud everywhere that means farm roads that lead out back are growing rutted, deeper with every passing splash. Vegetable rotting fungi, reveling in the humidity and free water everywhere, are creeping into the low hanging citrus, the heads of broccoli, frissee and escarole, and anywhere else there is an open wound or a tiny space between two molecules. It is such an amazing niche in nature, that this extreme event here in California, that only happens once in a while, is so quickly adapted to by species “in wait” of just those conditions. It reminds me that on the farm there is no death; just a different form of life, a different organism taking over the task of life from its predecessor. Our old gnarled, nearly dead fruit trees hold an entire raft of life in their decaying forms. Indeed, there would be no decay if not for the life at work. It is a great treasure to know that here on the farm, life goes on, and one life follows another in endless chain.
Across the farm, walking out to the far back field, I cross one after another small and large rivulets, running across our land on their way to the broad floor of Hungry Hollow and eventually into the churning, brown waters of Cache Creek. They run off of the Capay Hills, packed hard and nearly impermeable by 150 years of sheep and cattle, collect in the swales, then course through Carl and Lynnette’s palm trees and Jim and Debbie’s pasture, smack up against our road then build up until the crown of the road can’t hold it back any more, then floods through onto our place. Although we do have a pretty level place, it does run downhill from the hills to the Hungry Hollow valley floor. And so over the years, we have made changes in our farm, knowing
that in today’s highly impacted and managed world, water does tend to run off rather than sink into the ground where it falls. There are beautiful visions of a pristine California (I love to believe this) that say that the original native flora of California was adapted to these sudden deluges and long dry spells and so forged deep tap roots that funneled the water deep into the ground, storing it for the future, and incidentally reducing runoff and creating springs that gushed forth year round in even the most arid parts of the state. It is a long story, with lots of science to back it up, and who knows, it might even be true. But at any rate, much of these same California rainfalls can’t enter the soil, and move overland in increasing amounts. When they hit our farm, we have developed ways to prevent those fast moving waters from taking our precious soil somewhere else in a fast moving muddy brown stream. All our raised beds run across their path. Our farm roads are blockades with hay and plastic dams to route the flood away from the roads. We forego a lost disking to retain a grass cover in the winter, both to protect the soil and encourage soil life, and to use the roots to prevent the washing of our soil. And we try to route the heaviest streams through our hedgerows, which have just the same native plants that created those wonderful possibilities so many years ago. Deep rooted grasses, and native shrubs and trees all block the tearing advance of the water seeking the ocean. But we’re not perfect, not by a long shot, and so we prowl around, looking for the breakdowns, staying busy digging ditches pounding stakes, and damming problem areas. But we are surviving.
TANGELOS-We are picking tangelos like crazy. We have several good markets, and you can find them at both Davis and Sacramento Coops, and we are looking for more places to sell. Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates is using some along with Eureka lemons and Grapefruit. Our own Capay Valley Farm Shop is selling a lot, too and you all are eating some most weeks, especially in the fruit box. Now would be a good time to order some in a three pound for $5.00 or eight pound bag for $12.00 if you are so inclined. It is so great to have midwinter fruit. Dressed right in a good heavy raincoat and pants, with comfortable mud boots, filling bucket after bucket of juicy good tasting fruit is a joyful way to spend a workday, looking forward to more if it in the next few weeks.
Winding down an eventful quarter, and with all the rain preventing planting and reducing growth of the plants, things are slim. But spring is on its way! Don’t get cabin fever. Talk to you next week. Jeff