Late yesterday afternoon I walked along the boundary between the woods and our fields. The sun was setting, casting deep pink and orange hues across the sky, onto tall bare trees, and onto my cold face. The moment was arresting. The trees seemed to dance in the light. The wind was still, insects quiet, only the rustling of leaves audible as a young deer shifted its gaze to stare at me. Something shifted in me too. The light, the sky, the silence, the deer, the trees – they made the magic of the end of a day come alive me. In that stillness, I felt at home. At home in this farming life. (Click on the image above for a larger view – an attempt to capture a moment).
We are wading through several new seed catalogs, farm supply catalogs, last season’s planting records, and memories of crops successes and failures. We are a week away from beginning the first round of seeding for the 2015 season. Therefore, its apt to both look back at last year crops and dream about what we will endeavor this year. Questions of which varieties, how many, and how often loom large. And should we grow a wide diversity, who will buy our produce? And how often will they buy it, at what price? To answer some these questions, and more, we rely on records, data, and memory from previous seasons. In addition to basic principles of agricultural economics.
A significant portion of our business is our Community Supported Agriculture program, which if you have not joined yet, click here to do so today! While we focus on raising and offering a wide selection of vegetables to our CSA members, the remainder of our production is geared toward a few committed wholesale clients. Our crop and production planning then considers a range of needs – a one person or large-family CSA member and total number of CSA shares, a small or large local grocery store, and the occasional restaurant. We also know the crops which historically sell really well, and those which do not. Additionally we consider and listen for what our customers are asking more of, and what we never have enough of. These all come together in a farm game plan, to be checked, changed, adapted, and stuck to as best we can, as the weather allows.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I would love to eat more yellow wax beans this year,” you should probably email and tell us. Click here to send us your suggestions for what to grow, and tell us why you like it, or tell us about your new cat also.
It is difficult for me to admit that I have a favorite vegetable. One that I could eat every day, all day. If prepared in a certain way. By a certain friend. That vegetable would be the unassuming salad turnip, pictured above. My friend, Nathan, makes an incredible miso turnip dish. His recipe redeems the line “they are the world’s most unpopular vegetable”, from Terence Winch’s poem, Money, Food, Love. Should you manage to get your hands on good Hakurei salad turnips today, try this adapted recipe, and go after love.
He keeps offering me money
Three thousand, five thousand
whatever. Name the amount.
I say forget about money.
It’s love I’m after.
He says what kind of cosmetic
surgery would you get if
money were no object.
I would get my nose
Or maybe get the two frown
lines erased from my brow,
because people always
think I’m angry. But in truth
I’m incredibly serene.
The only thing I’m after is love.
She says eat as much of these
tasty slices of turnips frying
away on the stove as you’d like.
Slather them with butter and salt
They are the world’s most unpopular
vegetable, but that is so wrong.
They are really very savory.
But I don’t want any food.
I’m never hungry any more.
All I want is love, just love.
Be well, eat healthy, and be kind to yourself and others.