In this line of work, it is with mixed feelings that we react when a friend announces a wedding in mid-August. But when it’s a very dear friend, there’s no question that we will leave the farm, travel 600 miles, and celebrate with her. So leave we did. For eight days!
(Not our flowers! But ones we helped cut and arrange for the wedding.)
Leaving the farm when so much is in peak production, and the entire fall harvest is in vulnerable little trays, is an anxious move. At least it could have been for us, as this was the first time we’ve left our business, our livelihood, and your food. Luckily, as the previous post alluded, we have such wonderful help that we knew all would be well. We returned home to healthy seedlings, healthy fields, and a week’s worth of changes that we get to notice with a time-lapse sort of perspective.
The temperature was appreciably cooler, the okra noticeably taller, and the flowers beautifully lush.
The roma tomatoes bountiful.
The green beans had proudly perked up.
The chickens maybe, just maybe, expressed appreciation at seeing us. (Though I admit that I’m aware the chickens love the soggy tomatoes I bring them – not me.) The gates of the deer fence were clearly kept carefully closed. We sacrificed the germination of the fall and winter carrots (1800 row feet!), as the critical timing didn’t line up with our plans. Dan removed the burlap before we left, hoping they were ready for it, but alas, they weren’t, and died. Fortunately, it’s not too late to start them again. (If you were wondering what we have planned for Saturday afternoon, wonder no longer.)
Trust us – we spent time relaxing on a beach by a Massachusetts lake, and splashing in the water with our kids with nary a worry on our minds.
(Somehow, this is the only photo of all three kids from our whole trip.)
But we also kept our toes dipped in the world of farming, visiting Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, Maine and working alongside the wonderfully talented farmers there.
They inspired us with their experience, systems, set up, and spirit. And especially their flowers. Along with their wisdom to take a break in the middle of the day to sit with our feet in the cool waters of a New England creek.
The pigs and automobile art were also a feast for our eyes.
It was valuable to switch to customer and observer at a farm stand and a small farmers’ market. Able to step back and look around, we learned some things, both at market and during our farm visit, that will hopefully improve some of our processes.
Putting some space between us and the farm was great. All is well and reassuringly peaceful here on the farm upon our return. We were able to access some fabulous produce while away, but it’s been really nice to return to our beloved milk from Night Sky Farm (see the cream on top?!), coffee from Lamplighter, and our stained Formica counter tops. (Kidding about the counters.)
This week for market:
Bell Peppers (purple and green), Rosa Bianca Eggplant, Black Beauty Eggplant, Green Beans, Jalapeno peppers, Malabar Spinach, Okra, Onions, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Heirloom, Hybrid, and Cherry Tomatoes…and Bread, Eggs and Bouquets of Flowers.
Recipes I recommend this week: Tomato Tartin or cool Gazpacho. (Though please ignore the Gazpacho recipe’s recommendation to use an “English hothouse cucumber.” Ours aren’t doing so great right now, but please buy one from another sustainable farm. Neither England nor a hothouse are needed for this right now. Thanks!)
One thought on “For Markets 8/18, and the Value of Space”
What a wonderful post, Janet. So loooking forard to spending time with you soon and glad to hear you had space to learn in the norhteast and returned to a healthy, bountiful Broadfork Farm. So excited to see how productive your and Dan;s work has been this summer. Truly repsonsible and delicious food. Love, Lesley