This Farming Life 7.31.15

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Yesterday morning a small group of our CSA members gathered at our county Cannery for a day of tomato canning. We harvested about four hundred pounds of sauce tomatoes for this culinary adventure. After instructions by the cannery supervisor about procedures and process, tomatoes were washed, steamed, peeled, chopped and stuffed into mason jars. Once lids and rings were sealed, batches of seventy-five jars were placed in giant, high-temperature steel vats to process for forty five minutes. The degree of satisfaction once its done is high and the anticipated enjoyment of this labor in mid-winter even higher. Here’s to pasta, chilli, pizza, and more!

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Tomato preservation success aside, two recent storms have wreaked havoc with our tomato plants. A few rows are severely damaged from strong winds and rain, while others are showing signs of bacterial infections. Which is to say that we are losing plants faster than anticipated. Though, we have a small second succession of Cherokee purple heirloom’s and more Hanover red tomatoes planted. These are expected to be ready by mid to late August.

Produce available at the markets this Saturday and Tuesday are cabbage, cantaloupe, Asian eggplant, leeks, mint, jalapeño peppers, sweet Carmen peppers, sweet bell peppers, peaches & nectarines, rosemary bunches, patty-pan squash, Sungold tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Hanover red tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and zinnias.

Find us at the farmer’s market @ St. Stephen’s tomorrow morning from 8am – 12pm, and the Byrd House farmer’s market on Tuesday from 3h307pm.

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Today’s poem, Summer of the Ladybirds, is by the Tasmanian poet, Vivian Smith. His work is profoundly influenced by the Tasmanian landscape and its colonial history. His crisp lines imbued with meaning and grace offer a poignant pause during this summer heat.

Can we learn wisdom watching insects now,
or just the art of quiet observation?
Creatures from the world of leaf and flower
marking weather’s variation.
The huge dry summer of the ladybirds
(we thought we’d never feel such heat again)
started with white cabbage butterflies
sipping at thin trickles in the drain.
Then one by one the ladybirds appeared
obeying some far purpose or design.
We marveled at their numbers in the garden,
grouped together, shuffling in a line.
Each day a few strays turned up at the table,
the children laughed to see them near the jam
exploring round the edges of a spoon.
One tried to drink the moisture on my arm.
How random and how frail seemed their lives,
and yet how they persisted, refugees,
saving energy by keeping still
and hiding in the grass and in the trees.
And then one day they vanished overnight.
Clouds gathered, storm exploded, weather cleared.
And all the wishes that we might have had
in such abundance simply disappeared.

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

Alistar, Rebecca, and Georgia

Posted in Certified Naturally Grown, CSA, Farm News, Grow Different, Locally Grown, Origins Farm, Photography, Poetry, Sustainable Farming, This Farming Life Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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