Billie Jean returns, along with the sun!

No, this post is not a tribute to the late, great King of Pop…there are plenty of those elsewhere on the Internets. Billie Jean is our plucky farm truck (my old Saturn wagon is Bessie, for the record…any vehicle with whom you have a history deserves a name). We feared the worst after Kate’s fender bender last week but got some good news for a change: the damage to the truck was pretty minimal, as it turned out. A few tweaks here and there plus a new grille and Billie Jean is back in business. She did just fine yesterday in Portland and today in Bridgton. Sonya and I, however, have realized that we need another vehicle, and we may launch a cargo van hunt this weekend.

We welcome to the farm my dad, Jeremy Sayles, this weekend. He met me at the sunny and busy Bridgton market today on his way in from Vermont. At the farm, he quickly launched into his favorite activity, pruning. His initial goal was to take some limbs off the walnut tree near the barn to allow for cleaner vehicle access. We appreciate his efforts!

Pruning was exciting but even more exciting was the capture of a woodchuck in our “Have-a-heart” trap. Yes, one of our fuzzy, buck-toothed friends has been actively sampling our kale, parsley, kohlrabi, and more in recent weeks and effectively evading capture. We finally baited the trap with sliced apple, and that seems to have been too much to resist. Late year’s members might recall the newsletter guest column from Luther, the farm’s very first woodchuck capture. Luther was swept out of his simple life and into the world of high tech retail (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s OK…I’ll post Luther’s story up here soon for those who don’t know it). Alas, “Luther Jr.” was NOT given a similar opportunity for a new beginning, except in the metaphysical sense. With the help of our neighbor, Larry, we put a swift end to the ‘chuck’s, er, indiscretions. We do this with little enthusiasm but with a realistic sense of what’s at stake. Farming in general, and this season of farming in particular, is hard enough without the added heartbreak of a large rodent eating our/your wares.

It has occurred to us that mid-July is almost upon us, and we haven’t scheduled a potluck yet. We’ve decided to skip this month entirely, actually. We have weekend plans and family/friend visits galore this month and figure many of our CSA members might be in the same boat as summer proper really gets going. Thanks for understanding, and we will definitely get an August potluck date set up soon!

We hope everyone is enjoying this week’s share! Over the past few weeks, at least one item a week has come to you in cardboard pint containers. These convenient little suckers are expensive, so if you have no use for them, please bring them back to the farm or to your future pick-ups! We can reuse them! Also, we can always us egg cartons and plastic grocery sacks!

Finally, still no word back from the Cooperative Extension lab up in Orono about the leaf samples I sent in last week. Late blight? No late blight? Something else entirely? We’ll let you know when we know!

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