January 17, 2017
What is in the VEGGIE BOX? Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Chard, Tatsai, Turnips, Topped Rutabagas and Cilantro
What is in the FRUIT BOX? Mandarin Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit and Oranges
6 WEEK CSA SPECIAL Begins Today!!!!!!!
We want to welcome the 15 new CSA members taking advantage of our Special and we would like to welcome them to our CSA. We have some new members that came from the Rafael Garden* CSA in Fair Oaks (their farmer is retiring) and new members at Edible Pedal are taking advantage of the free bicycle home delivery. We hope that you enjoy our CSA!
*A note about Rafael Gardens-This last December I took a Seed Saving Class at the Sacramento Rudolf Steiner Collage from the farmer there-Harold Hoven. We have known Harold since the early days before he started the farm/garden at the college. Our introduction to him was when he and fellow farmers took over our fields and garden where we farmed in Woodland-where we first started faming 40 years ago. It was so exciting to take a seed saving class from him, and order some of his seed from Turtle Seed Company-a Biodynamic Seed company. I hope to keep in touch with Harold and share seed saving knowledge as I enter into that realm this year. That is when he told me that he was going to retire from the Rafael Garden. Since we deliver to Fair Oaks I asked if he would let his CSA members know that we are open to new members.
This Week on the Farm
It is frosty on the farm this morning. The sun rose behind a moist, frigid-looking fog bank to the east, and turned it into a glowing mass of the warmest light we could imagine extending all the way across the sky to the western horizon. It was one of those things that if you saw it at the movies, you would say, “Good computer graphics! “Couldn’t happen for real though.” It was that beautiful. But it was still cold.
Mid January is the time on the farm when we wake up and realize that the end is near. The winter month is half over and the spring juggernaut is poised, only a few short weeks away. It brings a vague sense of unease to the beauty of the midwinter frost. I spent yesterday in a kind of funk, and that was the reason. While I was working; finishing up odds and ends of tasks for heating the greenhouse, preparing to recycle, picking fruit for the orders, burying our old cat Binji, and digging up a broken pipe, by the end of the day I was in a poor mood. In retrospect, the sense of time slipping away is all around me at many levels, waiting to add to a down mood. One of the best tools is just more work. It is amazing what a difference an appropriate job, finished well, can achieve. So, after people went home and in for the evening, I set myself to the task of washing the mud off of the carrots and rutabagas for today’s box. The knowledge that when work started in the cold predawn tomorrow, the icy job of washing would be done, kept me warm. And sure enough, this morning there was a great thank you from Ricardo dressed up in all the waterproof gear and prepared to do battle with the cold. Win-win!
But I’ll tell you what; the rest of the winter is going to be filled to the brim, especially if we are working around the blessed falling of the rain. Tulips, way past due, are arriving today, (theoretically-I’ll believe it when I see it), 5500 of them! 150 trees are on their way to arrive tomorrow….plums, apples, quince, pears, and lilacs. In the pipeline are 200 fruit tree rootstock and grapevines for a wine project. It gives me goosebumps to think of all the potential, followed by the shivers in thinking of the workload of all this ambition. But without question, these are the ambitions that our farm must have in order to continue, these are the first investments in the hope of a future. Transition, transition, transition. I swear I think that life is just one long transition, and we only delude ourselves into thinking that maybe we have ever been in some state of stable security. I know it sure feels true for the farm. And that reminds me of another tool for my feeling poorly days, one that I can forget about for long stretches of time and then rediscover and ask myself, “How could I forget?” While I have never found a stable, secure existence, except in my imagination, at least I have found out that number one: Everything passes, and number two: My world comes out of it ok, it all gets taken care of. And that feels like…well Jeff, get used to transition and that vague feeling that stuff is coming up, because it is. So, I sit here today, having had a vaguely disquieting day yesterday, full of imaginary potential problems for tomorrow, and in the middle of a similar life to what I had yesterday and probably will have in some form tomorrow. And maybe that is as good as it gets and I better get to work! (My Dad would have added: “To coin a phrase!” Thanks Pop.)
Some sad news coming up. It appears we may have to mourn the passing of a really great carrot variety. That variety, “Nelson” is what is in your box this week, and we chose it years ago as the best tasting carrot we knew. It has not been a great variety for us in production and its limitations for production agriculture as soon as you lift it out of the ground. It is so brittle and the tops have a tendency to just snap off in your hand. But that is one of the most noted vegetables of the year, and we are never afraid to put it in month after month. We have never offered it to the stores, because it is too fragile to go through all those hands, but oh well, more for you! But Brian, our Johnny’s Seed Company rep, has said that the company producing it has just decided not to. Despite a real push by Johnny’s in favor of the carrot, they are firm. I asked Brian why and there doesn’t seem to be any reason given. In the end, it is another indictment of a culture where we have so little control of our sources for food, shelter, and other basic of life. The obvious answer, to fall together as a society, escapes us for the moment, but truth to tell, that is one of the driving forces behind our participation in the CSA program and your boxes. Here on the farm, we feel like our best chance for survival is to become indispensable to our local community, and to make choices that keep our local community vibrant. We are so imperfect, and I can give a dozen judgments of my hypocrisy, but whatever! We still believe and try. So how to save a wonderful variety? We’ll see. It’s on the list!
Well, stick around with Good Humus. It might even be exciting. Talk to you next week. Jeff