June 26, 2011
Naturally grown food for those dear
Happy belated Summer Solstice everyone!
We celebrated the solstice by bringing my dear grandparents down and up windy, narrow roads and into the far hills of Berea to one of the most important farms, as far as I’m concerned, in the country. Susana Lein and her home atop a beautiful mountain, Salamander Springs Farm, is where you can see much of what Josh and I aspire to. She had a wonderful summer solstice party, a gathering of hippies from my grandparents view, a gathering of really great people whose primary concern is for the health of the land. It was grand fun to show my grandparents around to what our weedy mess of mulch and vegetables can become after ten years.
After delicious food, grand music and dear company we turned the grandparents home and headed to Lexington for continued socializing (quite the rarity for us). Some fellow farmers and CFA (Community Farm Alliance) have organized an “Ag Legacy Group” of sorts and had a little concert benefit. I love my life out in the country more than a calf loves milk, but it’s easy to neglect your social life. Through this group we have met awesome fellow farmers, our age, who are doing it! Living this “back t the land” dream by actually trying it out. It’s always a breath of fresh air to be around them, and gives us new ideas to try out when we return home.
After some relaxing, however, we spent much of the longest day of the year thinking about the shortest. Why were we bothering ourselves with the dark and gloomy prospect of winter? Well because you have to plan your meals months in advance if you want to grow them yourself! In January I dreamed of pesto and so drew basil in the garden plan; I now enjoy it at least twice per week. Now we dream of good eats through fall, winter, and the coming spring and so plan and plant accordingly. Our fall seed order with Fedco arrived yesterday, today half of it was put in plug trays. Mmm endive. And hmm, scorzonera?
While the garden is growing wonderfully, and our many trials and experiments are proving fruitful, what is even more exciting is how exponentially better we can do it next year. Being the plan and diagram master, I am stoked to be able to plan and diagram for this land after having gotten to know it for a season. We will be able to winter over many vegetables, giving us an early start next year (meaning, food to you sooner!) and we will know how to place, grow and care for each and every vegetable next year as a result of this year’s garden. Oh experiential learning! There is no greater teacher.
But back to the present, where we all are no matter how often we try to live in the future. The garden is glistening. A sea of green my camera cannot do justice. High currents of sunflower, wide waves of zucchini, a consistent undercurrent of lettuce, splashes of color from the many many blossoms of various upcoming vegetables. Cucumbers have quickly overcome their trellis and we’ve been picking and enjoying the new fruit, you should expect them in your basket week after next. Zuchinni and tomatoes are not too far behind, potatoes have flowered, beans are podding, cabbage is heading, yada yada. Lettuce continues to amaze us and we think we’ll be able to keep arugula and spinach going longer next year in the same way. The only pest issues as of yet have been cabbage worms, pod borers on my beloved chickpeas and some slimy nasty buggers on the tomatillos. But all have been manageable and far preferable to the alternative. As my grandmother says, it’s delightful to find a squirming worm as you pull back the husk from a fresh ear of corn because you know it must not have been poisoned. Though Josh’s broccoli and cabbage worm sauté was a tad unnerving the other day, I’m still happy it’s organic (please note; it was only one worm and we tend to was your vegetables far more thoroughly than our own!)
Boy if I don’t wrap this up soon Josh is likely to dehydrate himself weeding so I best get back out and join him. I hope your gardens, meals, health and happiness are all whole and well. Enjoy our continued beautifully mild weather!
Bri & Josh