This late August, death is visible on our farm. The tomatoes have died. Their brown, decayed stems and leaves hang limp in the harsh midday sun. The scattered tendrils of the melon vines have curled their last curls for this season. Death came for them also. For a moment when I think about it, I am sad. Though, I remember with delight all the fruit and nourishment it so generously gave not too long ago. How their arrival at the markets ushered in a gorgeous summer. How those first bites into their tender flesh brought memories of childhood dreams come true. So my sadness morphs into gratitude for a bountiful crop received, and a looking forward to their future reappearance next season. The cycle of life continues in this farming life.
While death remains very visceral on our farm, new life is also sprouting everywhere. We see it in the new green beans (above), the peas (below), the radishes, turnips, and carrots, and so much more. They stretch their tiny stems and brand new cotyledons high into the bright blue sky. Each seed holds within it the genetic code to grow into their destiny. They have done so through the ages, and will continue to, with some certainty. On our farm, we nurture and support the best possible growing environment for seeds and young plants. Until they are ready to offer themselves to you and us. Readily so. So that we may all become much more than what we eat.
This week we read an interesting Times article about Mother Nature’s Daughters, which explores the prevalence of women on urban farms in New York. It asks a simple question: Are women more willing to nurture their communities (and also their beet greens)? Or is that men don’t care, or care a lot less? We also enjoyed learning about some really cool car ideas that kids created through a dream-car competition. There’s the Robo-Squid Hydropower Rescue car, the Balloon car, the Super Crab car, but we especially like the Environmentally Friendly Toyota Kingdom car. Check it our here.
Produce items available this week are apples (honey crisp, McIntosh & gala), basil, cilantro, bell and Chinese eggplant, fennel, red & yellow onions, carmen peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, salad greens, Swiss chard, sungold & red cherry tomatoes, probably the last of our Roma and Hanover red tomatoes, and eggs.
Last Saturday, committed volunteer and all round extraordinaire, Edith Ridderhof took some of our red jalapeños home to process. She returned this past Tuesday to market with a huge bottle of Sriracha sauce (above)! Thank you so much for your kindness Edith, and your sweet, generous spirit.
American poet, Louise Gluck’s poetry is noted for its technical precision, sensitivity, and insight into loneliness, family relationships, divorce, and death. In Vespers, she writes about the plight of growing tomatoes, a sentiment we share with her, given that it is by far our most difficult crop to grow. Happy Friday!
Be well, eat healthy, and be kind to yourself and others.