As we drift into July, we’re pleased to welcome Charlie and Rachael, a couple of young folks (just outta high school!) visiting Maine and WWOOFing with us for the next few weeks. They hail from the Detroit, Mich. area and have never been east before. In addition to some farming so far, we cooked ‘em up a Maine seafood feast Sunday night: fresh lobster and steamers. The reactions? “Yes!” from Charlie, and “Ohmygod, this is bizarre!” from Rachael. We’ll give it some time. Seriously, though, they are wonderful folks, and we’re happy to have them here to give us a hand! They helped bring in today’s harvest, along with our usual Tuesday helper, Glen, CSA workshare member (and Friday Lewiston CSA pick-up host) Donna Duval, and mega-super volunteer Brittany Wallingford. It was quite a crew (7!), and we also banged out some hand weeding in the onion and kale beds after harvest. Many hands made quick work of those pesky weeds…
Also, thanks to everyone who came to this past Saturday’s potluck! We had a great time, and enjoyed the mix of people (local CSAers! friends from Portland! Pat and Becky from next door! And more!) Among the highlights: the antics of Naked Lydia; the cuteness of Almost Crawlin’ Ezra; Sonya’s radish dip (via Martha Stewart); Don’s rice pudding; assorted kids attemping to roast radishes over the fire; and some nice music as darkness fell via Farmer John, our pal Wes, and Charlie, who plays (and brought along, thank goodness) the cello.
CSA share #4 for the 2012 season includes the following goodies:
1 qt. of potatoes
1/2 lb bag of French Breakfast radishes
1 head of lettuce
1 Napa cabbage -or- 1 bunch of Red Russian kale -or- 1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 pint of sugar snap peas
A crazy choice: 1/2 pt. of cherry tomatoes -or- 1 pt. of snow peas -or- bag of bell peppers -or- bag of zucchini
10 garlic scapes
1 bunch of basil
Bear with us with all the choices this week. A ton of veggies are just getting started, so if you don’t get peppers or zucchini or cherry tomats or kale or chard this week, I can assure you that you’ll get them soon. Snow peas, like snap peas, are an “eat the whole thing, pod and all” kind of pea, wonderful raw (a pint of snow or snap peas + good hummus for dipping = easy lunch) or in stir fries.
With all the animal adventures lately, I feel like a writer of those classic magazine serials of yesteryear. The latest cliffhanger concerned that final, clever pig. With his four friends captured and sold away, Our Hero stayed undercover in the woods for a time until the need for feed overcame his caution, and he was trapped in his pig house. There he remained for a couple of days until his new owner came to fetch him. With the transfer came the possibility of chaos, miscommunication, luck, fate, karma, and another chance for freedom. So…what happened!!?? Folks, it was wonderfully anticlimactic. Iggy from the JED collective came over last week and had the wherewithal to bring along a large dog crate. He, Son, and I loaded the crate into our truck and drove out to the ever-muddy pig area. We positioned the crate at the corner of one of the open ends of the pig house, slid the pallet aside, put a bowl of food inside the crate, and waited. After a few fits and starts, the hunger won out, the pig moved in, and with a push on the ass and a slamming of the door, he was contained. I didn’t have to crawl in the mud once! We got the pig back up to the driveway and transferred the cage into Iggy’s car. The end! And, of course, that clever swine will now forever be known as Iggy’s Piggy. The photo below, by the way, was the only photo taken during the “pig wrangling in the rain” episode chronicled last week. This is after most of the action was over…I look chipper enough but was about ready to keel over.
And finally, it’s time to announce some big news. After much contemplation, discussion, and soul-searching, Sonya and I have decided that 2012 will be the final year of the Summit Springs Farm CSA. This was not an easy decision to make, but it feels right. We’ve had five solid seasons and feel we’ve accomplished much of what we set out to: starting a farm from scratch, building up a successful CSA program, creating community connections, and more. We’re both, however, feeling a little burned out on farming and itching to take on new challenges. Sonya is moving in new directions and beginning school at USM this fall. She’ll be studying social work with the goal of finishing a master’s degree in a few years and becoming a therapist. I plan to be the stay-at-home dad/homesteader while Son is in school…after that, who knows? We will be staying put here in Poland…we love our house and our land and this wonderful, supportive, and eclectic community. We still plan to farm a bit…I suspect we’ll have Poland’s largest family vegetable garden, we may continue some veggie wholesaling next year, we hope to keep trying to learn new and exciting animal husbandry (ha!), etc. We’d also like to explore different ideas for creative land use and self-sufficiency here at SSF, and I’ll probably be bouncing some ideas around here on the blog in the coming months. First and foremost, THANK YOU to all of our CSA members, present and past. Your trust and support has made this entire endeavor possible, and we’ve been thrilled to grow veggies for each and every one of you. One reason we wanted to make this announcement now was so that members who wish to keep on CSAing in the future can hunt around and find other area farms offering farm shares. Our advice is to contact farms now and get onto their waiting lists for next season. I will include a link to MOFGA’s Community Supported Agriculture directory where you can go to seek out other organic CSA farms in your area, and I will write a little about some farms and farmers we know very soon on this blog. In the meantime, we’re enjoying a good summer in spite of the heavy rains, and we look forward to seeing the season through and going out strong! Enjoy the veggies, everyone!