It seems that somehow the weather has been colluding with current events – when it rains it pours. When it pours it also hails. If you haven’t yet read Janaki’s storm report from mid-week last week it’s worth reading through, just scroll down this page.
We take a lot of pride in the food we send in the shares each week. The plants get a lot of TLC around here between greenhouse time, or field weeding and hoeing time (not to mention the tractor time and watering time). Janaki and Dave are always considering this or that about the appearance of the leaves, or the way plants look when they sprout, or how to perfectly place pac choi in a box so it’s as unrumpled it can be. The care and precision for every aspect of a plant’s life is time consuming, and it rubs off on everyone who works on the farm.
Doing things to the best of our ability is all we can do, and there is so much that isn’t up to us.. It is disappointing, and a little nerve wracking to see plants we are counting on look like someone stepped all over them. We can still do our best to care for the plants and to harvest them tenderly, but nothing is going to change the pock marks in the peas, or the dead carrots or other crops now open to more pressure from pests or disease.
During this whole insane time we find ourselves in as a society, I have really struggled to pull myself back from the precipice of “everything-is-horrible-and-it-shouldn’t-be-and-if-only-people-had-done-the-work-in-the-beginning-or-at-least-tried-even-later-or-just-did-anything-at-all-even-small-things-this-wouldn’t-be-happening-and-if-I-get-mad-enough-at-strangers-in-the-grocery-store-will-that-fix-how-terrible-I-feel”. It’s a long name for a precipice. I should consider an acronym.
This year so far has been a lot of rubber meeting the road and wool being pulled from our eyes. It is a lot to digest, and it feels like it’ll digest us. It’s not easy to put one’s head down and keep doing right, and keep working for better when it seems like a hail storm is going to come along and undo whatever you’ve worked for. Or even trying again after a hailstorm of life- it’s hard to keep on when maybe the damage that’s been done won’t be out-weighed by the effort and vulnerability of our attempt for better.
In pulling myself back from the aforementioned precipice, I have to constantly remind myself that I am only in control of what I do and don’t do. I can not control most of what happens to me, or other people. I can not control what the weather does, or the climate, or the people in the grocery store.
On the farm, we’ll keep tending to the crops tenderly, even though (especially because) they’re in rough shape. We’ll harvest them well and pack them for you as gingerly as we can. That’s what we can do. We can keep on doing the right thing for the soil on the farm, year in year out and keep making choices that keep us as off the grid as possible.
Thanks for doing your part by using our vegetables, and for sharing in the ups and downs of farming and life with us. None of this would be happening without all of you choosing to eat our food for yourselves and your families.
For the farm crew,
In your share this week:
Beets – Broccoli – Cauliflower – Carrots – Cucumbers – Head lettuce- Snap peas
Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
From The Smitten Kitchen
-I am including this recipe mostly for the dressing, because having a good dressing on hand can be a key part of getting veggies from your fridge and into your mouth! Also, did you know that Napa cabbage (should you have any left from last week) can be stored for quite a while, well wrapped in the fridge? Not maybe as long as hard cabbage, but for at least a month.
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (or green onions!)
1 pound Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
6 radishes, diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally
Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved, then whisk in chives.
Toss cabbage, radishes, and celery with dressing.
As CSA members we understand the ups and downs. As a former Illinois farm girl, I experienced those challenges and still I carry on. As a Duluth gardener, I am battling the deer, raccoons, groundhog, skunk, rabbits and squirrels that seem to enjoy my gardening efforts way too much! As frustrated and mad as we get, we must maintain some optimism that we will manage in the long run. We so appreciate your efforts and the high quality produce. Chin-up!! ❤️🥬🍅🥦🥒🥕🧅❤️