Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bounty and Weeds

Hi folks, Farmer Ruth here.  We've been enjoying some beautiful weather at the farm lately.  The intense heat has broken, so all the harvesting has been very pleasant.  Last Thursday was absolutely perfect, it rained all morning so harvest went nicely and we didn't have to worry about wilting, and then it became sunny and beautiful for distribution!  That never happens!  I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but we are all enjoying it. 

(She's enjoying it too)

As the season has gone on, I've been running more distributions, and I have to say, it's one of my favorite parts of the week.  After all the hard work, its great to see all of that bounty laid out on the table, and to hand it to people who are just as enthusiastic about vegetables as I am.

I love talking recipes with people, there are so many different great ideas in the member pool that I'm starting to think we should have a Mud Creek Cookbook.  

I also love seeing all the little kids at the farm, and watching parents use every opportunity to teach, whether it be counting cucumbers, reading signs, weighing out two pounds of roots, or knowing what a kohlrabi is (consensus is that it's an alien head).  Its also great to see so many kids excited to go pick vegetables in the you-pick garden.  I know for a fact that veggies taste way better when you get to pick them yourself!

The pick-your-own garden has been looking a little weedy lately,  and this Friday was a little rainy; perfect time to weed.  Jonny, Josh, Betsy and I all spent most of the day pulling weeds, and it made me feel so much better.  It's immensely satisfying to make it beautiful out there for people to enjoy what we get to enjoy every day.  And, as it turns out, Jonny's pigs love purslane, which is the particular weed choking most of the you-pick section.  I love it too, and I suppose its really only a weed when it's growing where you don't want it.  

Pig food!
We did keep one weed, though.  It's our pet amaranth.  Erin grew amaranth as an experiment a few years ago, and now they pop up here and there.  It looks like a tree growing out of the beans, and it's so big and impressive, we would hate to pull it up. (Besides, if we did pull it up it would probably take about 6 bean plants with it.)  Betsy calls it "Queen of the Weeds."

Weeding the you-pick garden the day after a fantastic distribution day reminds me why I want to farm this way.  I love the connectedness of this little oasis we've created.  Thursday in the distribution shed, I looked out in the parking lot and saw lots of cars, but no one was around.  I looked out in the field, and there they all were, talking, picking, laughing, little kids running around and asking questions.  One of the members was walking back towards me, her arms full of bright flowers and beans.  "I just have to tell you," she said, "it's so wonderful out there."  She looked the way I feel after a good day; tired, happy, and fulfilled.  Why would I possibly want to farm any other way?  I get to feed people food.  But I also get to feed people a field of flowers to stand in, where children are laughing, and no one is telling you they need that progress report and you can just stand there, eat a bean or two, smell the lemon basil, and listen to the birds.