Many, many moons ago I had the opportunity to study at University College Cork in Ireland. This time of year, with St. Patty's Day less than a week away, tugs at my heart as I recall many evenings spent listening to live Irish music in my favorite pub - Sin E, the endearing and charismatic personalities of the Irish people, hitchhiking and bussing around the countryside and into the North, kissing the Blarney Stone, drinking warm port in the Airen Islands, and the emerald green that meets the eye in every corner of the Irish landscape. After our long winter with the ground (happily) cloaked in snow, the reappearance of the green that is starting to dot our landscape is brilliantly piercing and reminiscent of this time spent in Ireland.
For a short time this afternoon, Cale and I went to the field. The sun came out after the rains, and it felt so nice to have our hands once again in the soil. We felt freed from the bondage of layers upon layers of flannel, fleece, scarves, hats, etc., and it was liberating to have the warmth of the sun on our shoulders, faces, and hands. Unlike last spring at this time when the ground was as hard as a rock, this year the soil appears so healthy and vibrant, teaming with worms and life, with all sorts of organic matter decomposing as nature intended. I like to think that it is we who nourish and caretake for the earth, while it occurred to me today as I put my shovel in the ground to dig for last season's overwintered carrots and beets, that perhaps it is the other way around? Or maybe it is just symbiosis at its' finest. Regardless, how energizing it is to be back in the field!
The strawberry plants are starting to perk up, weeding in the asparagus patch is glorious with the soft, now-thawed soil, and the root crops that were long hidden under inches of snow and ice are now retrievable and absolutely delicious (we just had them for dinner!). Cale spent the weekend tuning up our BCS tractor getting her ready to prep the beds, and today we purchased the materials to start building our new wash station. Indoors, I'll be doing the last of our seeding this week, mostly flowers, and our onions are now about 4 inches tall getting ready to graduate from the perpetual warmth of our propagation space to the hoop houses. While in the hoophouses, this week I'll be transplanting out those leafy greens, kohlrabi, and head lettuces that were started just a few weeks ago. The farm is kind of like a metaphor for life - there is an organic fluidity about it that gracefully keeps us moving forward, like it or not.
And finally, we could not be more excited to share with you all an opportunity for locally raised Mangalitsa cross pork shares. Yay!! Raised by the 12-year old daughter of one of our CSA members, these animals were lovingly and humanely raised on hay, barley, sunflower seeds, and veggie scraps and have never been fed commercial corn or soy feed. If you have never had the highly marbled, pinkish red colored Mangalitsa pork, you are in for a treat! It is known as the Kobe beef of pork with good reason. Not to mention the health benefits - it is high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains lowers amounts of saturated fats and higher amounts of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Cale and I could not be more thrilled and appreciative to be getting this pork into our home come April. If anyone is interested, please contact Melissa at (928) 814-8133 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shares are limited and are $250 for a half share and $475 for a full share plus processing fees.
From the garden, this is another great week for greens! We have gorgeous salad greens, lots of spinach, baby swiss chard, baby kale, spicy greens mix, tender pea shoots, and just a few red butter head lettuces. We also have spaghetti squash (all right around 2 pounds), amazing overwintered baby and storage size (large) carrots from the field, very limited beets from the field, a few dozen eggs, and the last of our dried chiles and tomatoes.
And with this, we wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day, and thank you for your support of our farm and for valuing local, organic produce. It is our great privilege and honor to be growing food for you.
In gratitude, Melissa & Cale