March 21, 2017
What is in the VEGGIE BOX:
Kale, Muroc Cabbage, Carrots, Parsley, Fennel, Lettuce Heads and
This Week on the Farm Do you want to know what is really going on at Good Humus Produce today? Nah, I didn’t think so. Actually, I know you are sitting there waiting to hear about this. Picture this: Rainy day, up to the office at 6, Rogelio and Francisco start packing your boxes downstairs in the barn, and I decide to print out an OSHA required form, and the printer decides there isn’t enough toner to do the job. Two hours later, three cartridges later, several of and on sequences, checking through the internet in an unjustified belief that more technology can resolve a crisis in the human/machine interface, 3 people sit morosely around a blinking printer, staring at the repeating message: “Replace toner”. Idyllic farm life; You have to love it. Time to go out to the field and remind myself that there still is another world out there, one that has been around for a lot longer than our printer and our office, and one that will survive just fine thank you when our office and our printer go back to the dust from which they arose. Now, I ask you: Even though it is the 21st century, even though we have no choice in the moment but to be part of this fantastic new life of ease and technological miracles, and even though we were raised in the miraculous use of advanced labor saving machines, where would you like your farmers to place their trust? Well, anyway. We do take seriously our commitment to the immersion of our lives in the life of the land, and our commitment to respect and sustain that which provides us our life nourishment.
So there is the discourse for today, and now, what about the practical life on the farm? I mean besides the practical aspect of fixing a printer (thank you Ali, our 21st century daughter) and putting out a newsletter for the box in the next couple of hours. Annie is the practical one as noted by longtime readers of our newsletter, and she comes by it naturally and does it so well. But in my own defense, I am pretty practical in the day to day aspects of the farm, but somehow there is not a lot of romance or I can’t imagine a lot of interest in a detailed recitation of how I replaced the timing belt of the Volvo wagon/farm truck, or the welding of the cross braces needed to make our property corner posts last for the coming 100 years. Nor is that the exciting thing for me, as I move through each day putting a dent in the constant supply of new jobs that are moving toward crisis. What is exciting to me is to explore my own changes in attitude, experience, and perception, which are always adjusting and are influenced most greatly by this wonderful world in which I live my life. But for each of you, I know that the inner journeys of my mind and my work are not as exciting as they are to my own self-ish perspective and that the life on the farm as we describe it in the newsletter provides a level of comfort and grounding in our times
This spring we are working hard to stay up as the rain continues to moisten the world around us. We are trying to complete paperwork for loans to cover some new expenses for an irrigation system on the new acreage. We timed out on the original application (my fault) and are re-applying with the Farm Service Agency at the USDA. We are negotiating the final language of the eternal easement that will preserve our land and work for farmers of the next generations, and are helping to provide the information for the baseline studies and appraisals needed to finish and sign the easement in June or July. And that would be wow!, a wrap on a 10 year project.
We have planted a mix of about 200 new trees and bushes that mostly are fruit bearing in an ongoing attempt to continue to provide you a good quality, diverse fruit bag throughout the year. And we have the most incredible greenhouse full of the crops of spring. There are all the late winter crops that we could not plant in the muddy fields, there are the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, flowers, and parsley that will grow and give bounty all summer, as well as some that will be sold at the plant sale in late April. I started each tractor in the latest dry spell and spread compost and opened up the ground, and miracle of miracles, they all started the first time. Old and worn and not pretty, they still are willing. Thanks to the spirits of the mid to late 20th century Ford, John Deere and Caterpillar manufacturers that knew how to use the resources at hand to create sturdy, willing equipment. Annie has a lot of recipe’s so this is it for today, but I leave for now with the certain knowledge that you and we are part of a wonderful interlocking set of processes that seems vibrant and strong, resilient and experienced, and definitely worth hitching to your horse. See you next week, and hello Spring! Jeff