Cale and I spent the day completing tasks that are the mundane type that I usually don't write about - spreading compost over beds, draped over a stock tank washing thousands of two-inch pots to transplant plugs into, and cleaning the chicken coop. However, as I was mid-way through my scrubbing project it occurred to me that these menial tasks are worth sharing. They are the mindless, but necessary activities that need to happen in order to operate a farm. They are not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, they require zero amount of thinking, they oftentimes become tedious, and they cannot be rushed. To grow good, honest food is a process. It involves what appear to be many trivial steps. But all of these steps tell a story, they make me and Cale understand and appreciate the value of food, and they define what I think Carlo Petrini had in mind when he established the organization Slow Food in the mid-eighties - good, clean, and fair food cannot be compromised in any step along the way.
The thing is that Cale and I don't really mind these tasks. We couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous day to complete them, we even have the sun-burns to prove it. We can rest easy tonight knowing that we worked to improve our soil tilth and hopefully our plants grow all the better because of our efforts, we know that our seedling starts will happily expand and grow a more elaborate root system and be a healthier, stronger plant in these larger pots, and we are certain that our chickens will sleep like queens in their newly cleaned chicken "palace", not to mention the powerful chicken manure that is beginning it's composting process as I type to be used to build future soil fertility.
In the field, the next two weeks are about to get insanely busy for us! The beds that Cale prepped today will be used to plant our seed potatoes once the time presents and the conditions are favorable over the next week or so, our next successions of root crops and greens are in queue to be seeded along with broccoli raab, and then it will be time to start transplanting - brassicas, perennial herbs, onions, shallots, and leeks. It's easy to get overwhelmed and wrapped up in everything that needs to get done. But then, when you slow down for long enough like we did for just one moment today, you are graced with something so spectacular as a glimpse of the first strawberry blossom of the year, and in the neighboring bed, we discovered our first asparagus...ever! We both were able to take the smallest of nibbles and how gratifying it was! Wow! Suddenly all of these silly tasks that we spent our day working on were worth it :)
A couple of house-keeping notes - first, we have an engagement on Friday that will not allow us to be on the farm. For this reason, we will be harvesting on Thursday, and the order deadline has changed to Wednesday at 6:00 for this week only! Pick-up will remain the same on Saturday morning. And, second, our CSA flower share has sold out, but we do still have a few remaining veggie shares available.
From the garden this week, we are excited to have our first radishes and arugula of the year! I enjoyed the radishes on my salad at lunch, and they were just as good as they looked - mildly spicy with a super satisfying crunch. The arugula is tender and baby in size this week, but don't let this fool you...it is spicy and delicious! We also have loads of beautiful salad greens (on special again with the purchase of a double-sized bag), abundant spinach, and lovely spicy greens mix (arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, kale, and mustards). The baby carrots from the field are impressively tasty, we think, and the girls are laying lots of gorgeous eggs to be enjoyed. We also have limited head lettuces, baby chard, and pea shoots available.
And with this, we wish each of you a wonderful week ahead. Thank you for your support of our farm and local, organic, agriculture! It is our great privilege and honor to be growing food for you.
In gratitude, Melissa & Cale