Attention Deficit

Have we all lost our ability to focus attention? I was re-reading some of my old blog entries and remember sitting in my living room writing them. I remember being more focused. I must have been since I was putting out three and four paragraphs instead of my measly two paragraphs lately. The ideas seemed more complex than the ‘boy it’s been hot and dry’ weather reports of this summer. Have I lost my writing mojo or is there something else at play?

Honestly, I think we may have all fallen in an internet attention-suck and it sets our minds into a hazy blurring of pixels and real life. Time gets weird in this environment and human connections get less deep and that worries me. Some yoga guru said once ‘Where your attention goes, so does your energy.’ Jesus also once said ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ According to these ancient thoughts, most of us are dumping our full life force into a large room filled with dazzling colors and a huge number of people yelling at each other, all via an internet connection. It’s hard not to look, especially when the addictive mini slot machines we have in our pockets continually ding when another person in the big room utters something. We don’t have to live like this.

I know that I simply sound like an old angry man out of touch with modern America, but I feel there’s a farming angle here, so hear me out. If we are to do anything well, we need attention and farming is no different. We need undivided attention to push through individual tasks and projects on farm, but we also need attention to study and implement strategies for a whole food system. I know that farming needs to be a large part of the climate change puzzle if we are to build a world that is not just habitable, but, I hope, enjoyable. This will take strategic thinking. The internet ought to be our tool we use like a hammer or shovel in this endeavor, not a source of never-ending cotton candy that distracts our attention from doing the work before us.

In the box:

  • Butternut Winter Squash: The tan one.
  • Red Kuri or Red Kabocha Squash: The red ones.
  • Lunchbox Snacking Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac: Yes, it’s a weird-looking vegetable, but packed with celery flavor in the bulb. Peel and slice/dice bulb in where ever you’d use celery like a soup. Stores very well in crisper
  • Onions
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Roma Tomatoes

Circling Back to Projects

Did I ever tell you about the time I put off patching the stucco on our house for eight years after we insulated the walls?

There were these 2-inch holes all over the house where they drilled to put in the insulation; I patched ‘temporarily’ with that spray foam stuff in the can with the intention that I’d circle back and stucco them when I had a little time. Well, it was a apparently a pretty big circle because it took me eight years to get back to it. That’s not the kicker. From start until finish I was done in 45 minutes. 45 minutes! Why did I put that off for so long?

I must be getting better because yesterday I got back to a plumbing project in the apprentice cabin after only 4 months. Hey, that’s improvement, but I’m still about three parts short of getting it done, which is pretty typical of any plumbing project. I had a wise man that I met at our local hardware store tell me that only after three trips to the store will you be getting close to finishing any plumbing project. Let’s see.

In the box:

  • Carnival Winter Squash: These are like a really good-tasting acorn, so feel free to use the recipe for a stuffed squash from last week
  • Buttercup Squash
  • Russet or Red Potatoes
  • Onions
  • A mix of Sweet Peppers: If you are getting tired of peppers, please simply cut, put in freezer bag, and freeze. They are possibly the easiest veggie to preserve.
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Cabbage and/or Cauliflower: There wasn’t nearly enough of either for all members, so we did a combined effort. Some ended up with both a small cauliflower and small cabbage instead of one of each.
  • Fresh Sage
  • Spinach

Just a List

Sometimes life doesn’t allow me time to wax and wane…

In the box:

  • Anaheim Peppers: These are long skinny green peppers that are hot.
  • Italia Pepper: Long red pepper, but sweet
  • Orange Pepper
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Cantaloupe
  • Fresh Sage: Our thought process was that this sage would pair well with the acorn squash in something like a stuffed squash. See
  • Acorn Squash
  • Buttercup Squash
  • Daikon Radish
  • A couple tomatoes: These guys are really coming to the end of their life quickly
  • A mix of red and blue Adirondack potatoes

Short-handed Labor Day

I often feel like I’m leaving the life of some 19th century small business owner. Family and business are intricately linked. The business flexes for family schedule and the family has to give to the business.

So, when the apprentice is out of town and dad (me) is slogging it out by himself, I call in the kids. Now we’re not so 19th century that it’s as easy as saying ‘time to work.’ I had to resort to cold hard cash today to get all three off devices and into the field to pick tomatoes and pack boxes. It’s a success when we even get Graham off his device, albeit only for about 15 minutes until the yellowjackets chased him off.

Still, the family pulled together. Willem, Sylvia, and I were are well-oiled machine packing 50 boxes so I could drive off by 2 pm. Now 44 years old, I understand why my dad took me along on odd jobs about time. It’s not the strength, but the energy and drive that makes the job so much easier. Thanks Pesch kids!

In the box:

  • Cantaloupe: The rain over many days caused a lot of cracking on these, so be forewared. They taste great, but do look out for the bees who are super interested in these things. I’ve gotten three stings in the past week to prove it.
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Regular Tomatoes
  • Watermelon Radish: OK, this is the weird looking green thing that’s way bigger than your regular radish. Super pretty inside – slice and pickle a bit for radishes to add to a salad or check out ideas here:
  • Pepper Medley
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Delicata Squash: First winter sqush of the season. Simply cut lengthwise and bake upside down on baking sheet for a side (no water bath necessary).