Probably every farmer and gardener has pondered this at some point: We like to say "I grew that," whether it's an onion, a rose, an apple. But sometimes when someone looks at our produce and says, "You grew this amazing tomato!" it doesn't feel true at all. It's not true at all. The tomato grew itself. The seed of the tomato, which is a tiny, fuzzy, flat beige seed, felt water and warmth and sprouted. Cells multiplied and differentiated. Leaves proliferated, first the small seed leaves and then big feathery leaves. Roots spread out, chasing water and nutrients, first in the flat where we sowed the seed, then in a bigger plastic pot, then in the ground. Tomato plants are quite deep-rooted, for an annual vegetable. They send roots down about three feet. I would have a very hard time digging three feet down into our soil in the summer. The plant, driven by its own internal code and by weather and daylight and soil, put out star-shaped yellow flowers, many of which were pollinated. The fruit started to set at the base of the flower, and if the weather was warm and dry and the soil was rich with minerals and the plants got adequate water but not too much, then the tomato was picked and eaten and pronounced amazing. Frankly, even a mediocre tomato is amazing if you think about how it got here.
You may notice that it's been over a year since I posted anything on the blog. All the action and change on the farm and in life has kept me from writing about the action and change!
CSA sign-ups are now open. We have lots of options, from a full-season subscription to a one-time box order. Our season will run from May 16-December 5, for 30 weeks of abundant, varied seasonal produce. We always debate ending the season a bit earlier, but some of our most gorgeous fall crops came on in late November last year and we don't want anyone missing out! The other day we were placing string lines in the field to mark our planting rows and had the satisfying feeling of coming back to the beginning. I never remember how much I miss the soil until I start working with it again.
Alex and I welcomed our second farm baby, Nico, in September. This meant that I was pregnant and chasing one year-old Joe over a very hot summer and taking care of a newborn during a (still hot and) busy time of year. We’ve been so fortunate to have lots of help from friends, family and farm residents. The truth is, though, that caring for a fussy newborn was last in a long chain of physically and emotionally depleting activities in the last two years. Now Nico is a rosy-cheeked, smiley five month-old, and I feel like I am regaining energy and focus. I never would have believed how exhilarating it now feels to walk out to the field without a small human on or in my body! I am able to fall in love with the farm again, and to take on planning and projects that I just didn't have the energy for for several months.
Colby, who has been a farm assistant since our first season, is a partner in the farm this year! I am so glad to have such a hardworking and knowledgeable business partner and friend with whom to share decisions, management, success and challenges.
We sold thirty acres of land at the beginning of the year. This was always a part of our financial plan: without this sale, we would not have been able to afford to keep the rest of the ranch that we love so much. This was a major step in our long-term financial viability and we are grateful and relieved.
Thanks for reading! I expect to be writing and posting pictures much more regularly this season and am happy to be able to share more with you, our farm community.