Seasons Turning

Have I reached the mid-life plateau? Evidence abounds. I find that I give myself pep talks to take on even the smallest of tasks. I am deeply drawn to afternoon naps. And no big job is conceivably possible without two cups of strong coffee.

Sylvia on Wheel Hoe

When I reflect on this, I am at times bothered that I don’t have the juice I once did. My 30-year-old self slashed through projects and took on new ones without any thought or worry. I was abusing coffee at that time too, but the energy and determination I had was remarkable. In hindsight, I must also acknowledge that my younger self was a madman. At times a bit too determined, pushing through projects at midnight and ignoring some of the goodness of life with a myopic focus on the work.

Lately I’ve been trying to appreciate the energy others can and have brought to the farm. My daughter I once held in the crook of my left arm now pushes through a full day of work in 90-degree heat. Archer the apprentice speedily packs produce or muscles through pounding stakes for trellis. In times like these, I ease back in the realization that this big rock that needs pushing is not 100% on me. Instead, I have a role to encourage and coach those around me and that seems right for my age. However, I’m not ready to fully recline back and direct the farm from a lawn chair. With the proper dosage of caffeine, I still find it exhilarating to go in the fields and totally crush it! I think that I’ve finally grown wise enough to know when to stop.

In the box:

  • Basil
  • Greenleaf lettuce: Standard lettuce…not much to say here.
  • Bag of Spinach: Use fresh in a salad or cook in a recipe. Me, I make a green smoothie with spinach.
  • Radishes
  • Garlic Scapes: These are the sprouts that come off the tops of maturing hardneck garlic. Yes, kind of funny looking, but they have a nice mild garlic flavor and you can use wherever you use a green onion as a switch-up. I often sautee a couple before I put into eggs in the morning. You can use in replacement of garlic in the recipe below.
  • Swiss Chard: Pardon the look of some of these leaves – we got some tearing in that 70 mph wind last week. See recipe below.

Failure to Launch?

Cucumbers mostly dead. Carrot seed buried. Potatoes finally popping in June? Come on!

If you have had a pulse this spring, I think you’d agree that it has not been the best growing season so far. Snow. Downpours. Cold. More downpours. Return of snow? Anything is possible.

The rain last week could be better described as a open-air waterfall than a rain. Once I finally was brave enough to step into the field and see the effects, I felt like an etch-a-sketch detective, trying to piece together where which seeds floated to where. Oh, hello little cilantro, why are you 30 feet away from your friends? Aren’t your supposed to be in that row over there?

Farming is certainly a mind game and all I can ever do is remind myself of the sun shining the last two days and be thankful for those plants and seeds holding on with me. I’m proud of those radishes in the back field – good work guys! Still, I have been calling this season a failure to launch so far even though things are now getting going. May 21 was certainly my latest potato planting to date and June 3th is certainly the latest I’ve ever had potatoes emerge, which gives some indication just how cold the soils have been.

So please hang with me CSA members…I guessing that I will have to push back our start date. But there’s a lot of June left and maybe me and these plants were get it together in the meantime, who knows what’s in store!