This week’s post must begin with a fond “bon voyage!” and big thank yous to our wonderful WWOOFers these past weeks, Charlie Driker-Ohren and Rachel Pernick. During their 3 weeks here, they did a little of everything…harvesting, weeding, planting, chicken and sheep care, and more, not to mention some excellent cooking (an unbelievable Indian feast! Blueberry crumble! Banana waffles! Yes!!), lively conversations, etc. They were great with the kiddos, too…hanging with Ezra and making him giggle and playing “pirate” and other fanciful games with Lydia. I’ll miss the sight of Rachel reading on the porch and the sound of Charlie practicing his cello, but the road home calls! They left here Sunday morning, bound for Montreal, and by now they are probably well on their way back to Michigan. With their help, we find ourselves CAUGHT UP with weeding (In July? No way!) and finished with a number of other random farm jobs.
In just a month or so, Charlie will be headed back east to begin school at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Rachel will be starting at the University of Michigan. Good luck, you two, thanks again, and please keep in touch!! So, it was a smaller but no less excellent crew this morning for the harvest: Glen, Donna, Brittany, and Anna. We got the veggies and berries in with some time left over for CSA set-up, weeding, and bed prep for tomorrow’s planting. A special thanks goes out to our own Lydia, too…yesterday morning, she helped Daddy harvest the cukes, zukes, big tomatoes, and peppers, plus assisted with moving the sheep onto fresh grass in the afternoon. A farmer in the making, perhaps?
Today’s informal harvesting theme (and the possible name of his future farming/campground/commune project Down East) was provided by Glen: “It’s all good.” A positive refrain…good vibes, good mojo, acceptance of whatever is happening at any given moment, being present. It’s all good. Of course, you can’t recognize the good without the bad…2 forces in opposition, pushing and pulling at each other, in flux, yin and yang, black and white, positive and negative, heaven and hell. So, a little bad makes one appreciate the good, right? So bad…is good. It’s all good. Now, you could also certainly make the “everything in moderation” argument…the middle ground, middle of the road approach. (I suggested the not-quite-as-inspiring slogan: “It’s all mediocre.”) Yet still, even on the fence, in the gray between black and white…it’s all good. There’s really nothing left to say… If it’s good…it’s good. If it’s bad…that’s good. It’s…all…good.
Speaking of which, CSA share #7 for the 2012 season includes the following veggies:
2 lbs of potatoes (Red Gold or Mt. Rose)
2 lemon cucumbers
1 bunch of scallions
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of Red Russian kale -or- Swiss chard
1/2 pint of raspberries
1 green bell pepper
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 beefsteak tomatoes
1 fresh garlic bulb
Herb choice: 1 bunch of basil -or- parsley -or- dill
Last week, I babbled on about zucchini overload and look what happened: Our go-to planting in the hoophouse seems to be done. After an enthusiastic final flush of zukes, the planting seems tapped out, at least in part from some serious squash bug pressure. More is coming, folks…be patient. It’s all good. To fill the void, we have an abundance of lemon cukes. These round, yellowish cukes look very different yet taste the same as a “regular” cuke…enjoy! Tomato numbers are on the rise, and we’re happy everyone this week gets a full pint of Sungold or Super Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes as well as a couple of beefsteak tomats. The heirlooms will be along soon…it’s all good.
In my post a couple weeks ago announcing the end of the CSA, I mentioned that folks interested in continuing to support local farms through their CSA programs should check out MOFGA’s Maine CSA Directory to locate and research options in their area. We also want to mention a few farms that we know of offering CSA options. We have friends who have been members of the Willow Pond Farm CSA in Sabbatus. This farm has been running a CSA program since 1989 and is a well established presence in the L/A area. In North Yarmouth, there is Deri Farm, owned and operated by Justin Deri who we’ve gotten to know a bit over the past few years. Justin launched his mixed veggie farm a few years ago and offers CSA shares which can be picked up on the farm. Up in West Paris, our friends Don and Jeannette Baldridge run Lolliepapa Farm. Jeannette is an amazing baker whose wares can be found at the Bridgton Farmers’ Market, Norway’s Fare Share Co-op, and elsewhere. Don grows the veggies. They are a small operation…I think they offer 12-15 CSA shares per season…but it’s quality stuff and bread is included! We’ve been advising our CSA members in Portland to get in touch with John Bliss and Stacey Brenner at Scarborough’s Broadturn Farm. The farm is certified organic and has a CSA drop in Portland’s West End. John and Stacey are amazing farmers and have helped us out considerably over the years with advice and guidance (John and Stacey were Sonya’s mentor farmers during her two years in MOFGA’s Journeyperson program). New farms are popping up every year, so we hope everyone can find a farm to support! It’s worth the time and effort to do a little research and find a farm that works for you. If anyone has any other suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to let us know and/or comment right here on the blog.
And, another potluck is coming up. Mark your calendars: Weds. August 1st from 5-9 PM. Bring along a dish to share, and enjoy a mid-week summer evening on the farm. All are welcome for food, fellowship, and music/conversation by the fire after the feast. See you soon!