This Farming Life 9.5.14

OF Wildflowers

It is such a joy to discover wildflowers on our farm. They reveal themselves in the strangest places, bringing unexpected delight. Like these above at the entrance to our barn–where our tractors and farm implements are parked. Earlier in the season we almost ripped them out, mistaking them for weeds. There must be a lesson in this, which evades me now, but it is this farming life.

You will remember the phrase shake the hands that feed you from the author Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, etc.), with which he encourages us to meet and get to know those who raise our food. Soon, you will have a grand opportunity to do just that through the Virginia Association of Biological Farming’s inaugural Richmond Farm Tour. Together with eleven other farms, we will be open to visitors for the weekend of September 20th – 21st, 1 – 6pm.

Here’s the scoop: Load up your car with friends and family (one ticket covers everyone) and head out for a day - or two - of meeting area biological/organic/Certified Naturally Grown farmers and seeing where and how your food is grown. Go at your own pace. This biological farm tour weekend is self-paced with farms located throughout the area. You can purchase tickets hereview a map of participating farms hereor sign up to volunteer during a farm tour here.

OF planting day Sept 3rd

And now for some more news. Earlier this year, I was selected to participate in Slow Food’s Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto conference in Turin, Italy as part of the US delegation. Terra Madre & Salone del Gusto happens every other year in late October (the 23rd – the 27th); delegates from over 130 countries are chosen for their ability to represent the breadth of the country’s food traditions and movement success stories, as well as their capacity to take the new lessons, ideas and relationships back to the challenges still to be met at home. I am one of a few in Richmond who were selected to participate in this landmark event.

While being a part of the US delegation includes accommodation, conference access, and meals, I still need assistance with flights, ground transportation, and other travel expenses. I have started a fundraising campaign to help me on my way to Turin next month. I would be deeply grateful and honored if you clicked here to donate to my campaign and to learn more about Terra Madre!

Of Red Cherries

Produce items available this week are apples (Northern Spy, Empire, Johnagold & Smokehouse), basil, the first of the butternut squash, cilantro, red & yellow onions, carmen peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, salad greens, Swiss chard, sungold & red cherry tomatoes, and eggs.

This week’s poem is by the poet, Rachel Hadas, whose poetry is graceful in its attentiveness to the particulars of everyday life. Which is evident in The End of Summer, as we here in the US bask in the fading days of the season. Enjoy!

Sweet smell of phlox drifting across the lawn—
an early warning of the end of summer.
August is fading fast, and by September
the little purple flowers will all be gone.
Season, project, and vacation done.
One more year in everybody’s life.
Add a notch to the old hunting knife
Time keeps testing with a horny thumb.
Over the summer months hung an unspoken
aura of urgency. In late July
galactic pulsings filled the midnight sky
like silent screaming, so that, strangely woken,
we looked at one another in the dark,
then at the milky magical debris
arcing across, dwarfing our meek mortality.
There were two ways to live: get on with work,
redeem the time, ignore the imminence
of cataclysm; or else take it slow,
be as tranquil as the neighbors’ cow
we love to tickle through the barbed wire fence
(she paces through her days in massive innocence,
or, seeing green pastures, we imagine so).
In fact, not being cows, we have no choice.
Summer or winter, country, city, we
are prisoners from the start and automatically,
hemmed in, harangued by the one clamorous voice.
Not light but language shocks us out of sleep
ideas of doom transformed to meteors
we translate back to portents of the wars
looming above the nervous watch we keep.

Be well, eat healthy, and be kind to yourself and others.


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Posted in Certified Naturally Grown, CSA, Farm News, Grow Different, Locally Grown, Origins Farm, Photography, Sustainable Farming

Certified Naturally Grown

cng-logoWe grow more than 50 different vegetables and work with a farmer-run program called Certified Naturally Grown, which includes an annual inspection, as stringent as the USDA certified organic program. We never use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Our produce is always fresh, harvested by humans, compost-grown, and always delicious!

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