July 12, 2016
What is in the VEGGIE BOX?
Sting Beans, Summer Squash, Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Peaches, Eggplant, Cucumbers and Peppers
What is in the FRUIT BOX? Peaches, Flavor Top Nectarines, and Satsuma Plums
Mid Summer Peachy Party
WHEN: August 6
Family activities from 2-6
Giving Thanks Circle 6
Dinner and Dancing 6-11
WHERE: Good Humus
12255 County Road 84A Capay CA 95607
Join us at Good Humus Produce in the Hungry Hollow, for our annual gathering to give thanks for the summer peach harvest open to farmers, CSA members new and old, and all our friends and family from our local food community. We'll have activities for the entire family all afternoon from pizza making, to insect gathering, to treasure hunts, apple cider making. For the evening meal we will have farm fresh organic food from Greek Lamb to homemade tamales and of course peach salsa, peach beer, peach pies and peach ice cream and live music into the wee hours. Please bring your pot luck dish to add to the community dinner.
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 leave your pets at home
We sure hope you all will come out and join us!!!!!
Order your Peach 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!
Just give us a call or e-mail
with your order!
Box of Peaches $30
This Week on the Farm
Dang, but it is hard to look at the lemon cucumbers wilt every year. Each year I plant them, hoping that this year will be different. But most every year, just as they start bearing those beautiful heirloom cucumbers, the plants wilt away and die. That is the definition of insanity, they say: to do something over and over, hoping for a different outcome. Well, by that definition, I’m on the verge. I often find myself doing something that I am pretty sure is not going to work out, but I do it again, maybe alter something slightly, just to see if this time there is a magic bullet that brings it in. Usually, well let’s just say that I am better at persevering than I am at doing it right. It can well be said that I perhaps know how to do it right only because I have it every way wrong. So the value of my experience is that I can say “Oh yeah, I tried it that way in 1988, and here’s what went wrong. But try it again because who knows, something may have changed.” And I wonder why no one wants to take my advice! It is true though, I have done so many things wrong, and just keep right on doing them wrong, always learning about the wrong way to do it. And somehow, the body of information that I have put together allows me to , once in a while, do it right. And that is how Good Humus muddles along. It actually is a beautiful life, full of learning, full of finding out about my own shortcomings, full of being amazed that the world around me forgives me (generally) for these constant errors. The hardest part and the most critical, I have found is to make an error, forgive myself and get going, knowing full well that I will make another tomorrow. I am reminded that my Dad sat at his desk at the DelMonte field office in Hughson, California one morning and told me that if 50% of his decisions were good on any given day, then he felt ok about it. I remember at that time thinking that he must be exaggerating for my benefit. Well, I’m now at the age he was, approximately, and it sounds closer to the truth than it did then. “Such is life.”
Back to the lemon cucumbers. The summer is full of mistakes, or at least things that don’t fully work out…..again. In spite of my enjoyment of picking a good crop of lemon cucumbers, of which we have had one or two, something has changed, we haven’t had a good year several years in a row, and I am not sure I am willing to try again. Ask me again next spring. I am truly distressed by my handling of the Suncrest Peach crop this year. Peaches are not difficult, but they are demanding. The work must be done on time and well. Overburdened this year, we have not performed the routine tasks in a timely fashion and the trees have suffered. And yet, as I write this, our cooler has a good supply of fruit, there are some orders, and we are cutting fruit like crazy. And the CSA boxes and bags are loaded with the fruits of the season. So what is coming off those trees is making its way into the food chain. While we may not be happy with our performance for the year, the trees just move on, doing what nature allows, either aided or diminished by our actions. Unfortunately, I swear they also remember our transgressions and they will remind us next year! That is the problem with perennials, they have long memories. There has been a minor miracle on the farm, we got a very nice crop of small Flavortop nectarines, and so for a couple of weeks you will get in your fruit bags a few ripe, fully flavored nectarines. Enjoy them, they are like the lemon cucumbers in that we only get an occasional crop.
Another good thing happening…. in spite of my aversion to spraying, I have gathered myself every three or four days in the beautiful days when the temperature is in the 80’s, put on my backpack sprayer and applied a light vegetable oil to all the developing clusters of grapes, and this year for the first time we are close to harvest and still have clusters in the table grapes other than the Bronx. Now this is a long and drawn out lesson for me. I have tried so many ways to wish that it would be ok if I just didn’t spray exactly as needed. But no, each year the withered grape bunches told me: “Jeff! Every three days! Oil! Do it! So the last 10 years has been a slow acknowledgement of their voices. And today, I am a little better at it, and if I stay the course for a few more weeks, you will get some really tasty table grapes that are not Bronx. And by the way, the Bronx grapes that you have all tasted have a special story. They were developed in the first days of the grape breeding program at Cornell University, right after World War II. Although they rejected them at the time as too susceptible to mildew, when they came to the desert climate of California they were top performers. As years have gone by, they have been taken out of production because of a lack of shipping qualities, but the incredible flavor and resistance to mildew remain. Aha! Perfect choice for a heirloom searching, flavor conscious, spray adverse small farm. So you have gotten a lot of that incredible grape while I have been playing around, trying to coax crops from the newer, bigger, flashier varieties.
I guess the bottom line is that this farm will always be a mixed bag, and I had better get used to it. It reflects my strengths and my many weaknesses as a farmer, and as such always remains a glass half empty and a glass half full. My challenge, and the single intention that aids me day to day is to focus on that glass half full. And that practice, honed and sharpened in the day to day meat grinder of a family farm and business, is looking better and better for dealing with the rest of life, too. Thanks to all of you, Jeff