Do Over?

I think we’ve all had this impulse to take back time and do-over a moment in life. I’ve had this so many times in my life with so many things.

Farming produce has made me get over these regrets more than anything. In large part because a produce season is like life in hyperdrive. I’m on the schedule of a plant whose life begins and ends in less than year. For example, I was out looking at some spindly peppers we had saved from towering weeds and I thought, “Darn, if only 4 weeks ago I had pulled those weeds…” Well, in 4 more weeks those peppers will be close to a first frost so no need to beat yourself up, Ryan.

There just isn’t time to mourn the state of the garden. Certainly no chance of wallowing about a crop. I used to do this. I’d beat myself up about a crop, but now I just cold-heartedly mow the thing down and move on. I still worry plenty – that worry is a motivating factor in getting things done, of course, but, like life, we must see things to the end and worry more about our next moves rather than the moves we’ve already made.

Sylvia Adrift in Weeding Last Summer

In the box:

  • Sweet corn: Just starting to ripen. Archer and I had to do some hunting and pecking to get these to you today.
  • Sweet onion
  • Broccoli
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Some regular tomatoes: Like the corn, just starting to ripen. We waded though quite a jungle to find these hiding down low in the field.
  • Green pepper
  • Arugula: This peppery green is an acquired taste, but I love it, especially in pasta. Give this a try:
  • Carrots
  • Red potatoes

Gather Round the Fire

Any farm worth its salt continually grows a large pile of stuff. When sufficiently large, the farmer sets a match to pile and said large mound of junk disappears, transformed to ash.

We have had such a pile for a year and a half, awaiting some occasion. Sylvie lobbied for burning it when we hosted the cross country team last night. Every Sunday the team goes to a team member’s house and runs a route together; Sylvie had staked out the township road – really boring as far as a route, but the landscape is beautiful.

As the team started to come in, I knew now was my time. One piece of paper and a lighter was all it took to start the first waxed produce box, which started as a sizzle and quickly became a solid flame. The many dozen, maybe hundreds, took off like a jet fuel and in no time a roaring 50 foot fire greeted the runners back to the farm like a signal fire set ablaze by some survivors desperately trying to catch the attention of an airplane from their deserted island.

Way too hot for smores, instead we pulled down the long hose I was using for irrigation to wet down the fence that kept starting on fire. The creosote electrical pole kept smoking, but it was just a bluffing, I guess. Luckily, we had just received our second shot of rain just an hour earlier, so it was really safer than I’m making it out to be.

On the produce front, that rain on Saturday night was just a godsend. I had started irrigating in earnest on Saturday, pumping water to move these crops along. When they get too dry like that, all the sunshine and good growing temps don’t mean a thing. Somebody super dehydrated doesn’t have the get-up and go to do much and neither do vegetables.

In the box:

  • Norland Red Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Green Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Napa Cabbage: This stuff is kind of ugly – that part of the field apparently was too short on fertility, but there’s still something here to chop up and put to use. This person put together 20 recipes for Napa –