A Look behind the Scenes
Although I try to post mostly positive things about the farm, the day to day isn't always rosy. Every year has its own stresses and for some reason this one seemed harder for me than most. Weather is the biggest unknown stresser and then there are the random events. Now that that the veggies are mature and the season is nearing an end, I can reflect on the hardships and sigh that they are over, and not shed another tear.
Despite having some of the most beautiful onion transplants ever, they just decided not to grow this spring. I am still not entirely sure why, but we spent MANY frustrating hours trying to save the crop. They survived (!) but are smaller than ever so the overall is yield was very low. At least they are tasty and I believe the few hundred pounds (we usually have a couple thousand!) we have will store nicely.
This summer brought more weeds than I have ever seen before. I don't mind weeding (it's actually very satisfying), but this is a little much! I am maybe a little more obsessive about weeds than most farmers, but in a weed free patch there is better air circulation, no competition for nutrients and harvesting is MUCH easier. The multitude of weeds definitely got me down this summer, so many hours spent. Hopefully we can get back on top of them next year.
I LOVE raising livestock. They make me laugh and their happy life with just one really bad day makes me feel ok about being an omnivore. But sometimes they get sick. Sometimes they even die, which breaks our hearts. Luckily we have not lost a large animal in over a decade, however this year we did have a sick pig. We are not sure what caused her high fever and shakes, but luckily over the course of 4 days with lots of extra love and attention she fully recovered.
Chicken, our #1 farm worker, companion and entertainment disappeared. It's been a couple of months now. We liked to think he flew down to the Androscoggin, found a mate and is now living happily on the water's edge. We miss him, but are happy for the memories of his shenanigans.
We all have rough days. Sometimes those rough days have consequences and other times they just make us grouchy. In this farm community, although I try not to burden you with too much reality, I do think it is important for you, as shareholders, to know that although we are trying our best, sometimes we have really bad days. Thank you for understanding that some things are out of our control and that some years you will get onions the size of softballs and other years not. Zach and I are pretty used to the roller coaster diet of seasonal eating with a twist of unpredictability. We have been doing it for over 17 years. We are ok with small potatoes or an overabundance of eggplant, but we realize some of you are still testing the waters of being a part of a CSA and we appreciate your support and excitement to try. And we love our tried and true members that have been with us from day 1! We hope you all have come to appreciate the gifts of the land, the flavor of fresh food, seeing the perfect and imperfect and realizing they taste the same and the notion of eating seasonally. Cheers!
This Week's bounty: lettuce, chard, pac choi, fennel, kohl rabi, carrots, beets, peppers, broccoli/cauliflower, acorn squash, pumpkin, tomato (they are ripening much slower now, so lots of green ones this week) ...i think that's everything