Rule of 9

The “rule of 9” is a strong recommendation, backed by evolving research and methodology, and has been around in some form for my lifetime, all of 65 years! According to this rule, those of us who wander around on 2 legs should munch 5-9 fruits and vegetables everyday…along with a variety of other good eats! We ignore the gauge that is on empty more than we realize until the “rule of 90” sets in….which in broad terms says public employees can quit working and enjoy the scenery when their working years PLUS age EQUALS 90. Will health be there to greet those that cross the finish line?

Nine plant food choices in a day is about 5 1/2 cups, which may look like a lot ….. it should! Break that down into 16 hours of munches…I try and have 3 meals with a bunch of grazing – but arriving at 9 is still a challenge. That is why I tuck fruits and vegetables into everything on the menu at Peacemeals and into the bread and cookies.

There is another “rule of 9” in this little town, that is being ignored and we are losing the very essence of community. Let’s count… 3 grocery stores and 6 eating nooks… What if ALL of us walked to these cheery spots for our groceries and lively discussions with friends and neighbors?

Back in the running

Red and green oakleaf lettuce, Swiss chard and space spinach have been harvested, washed three times, sanitized, duly given a shake-up and mixed well, weighed, bagged and are now waiting happily in the refrigerator to be shared around a dinner table. Transparency beginning with our work habits, soil and plant health management to the ever present clear plastic bag that salad mix is presented in are key factors to our existence. Not much is secret – except for recipes – haha.

Salad mix takes a break in July and August, those being the typically hot months that bring on the bitterness. Cultivated lettuce has been domesticated from its bitter wild lettuce cousins, but there still remains the tendency to revert back to the ancestors.

When there is an urgent message to be communicated…three “t’s” come into play: truth, transparency and time. I am often in Bilbo Baggins shoes: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” (JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)

This week there will be oodles of choices: salad mix, Delicata squash, Acorn squash, Celery, turnips/radishes, Brussels sprouts, watermelon, tomatoes, head lettuce, onions, garlic and sweet peppers. Plenty more options for sale! Make it worth the running…..

Is it a rocket salad?

What’s in a name? I would choose a Rocket Feta Salad, it sounds intriguing compared to Arugula Feta Salad….both being about the same thing…cousins in the mustard family or green leaves with a kick.

What is arugula good for? There are good amounts of calcium and iron along with vitamins A, C and K. If you know your vitamin alphabet …. vitamin C is water soluble, meaning it can easily be lost in extra cooking water. I like to use small amounts to brighten a salad or sautéed veggie dish. Throw it in after the heat has been turned off.

Arugula is for sale this week and for farm share members. When the weather turns cool, the leaves are not so spicy. There will also be beautiful head lettuce (be gentle with it), Pac choi, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Hakurei turnips, watermelon radishes, daikon radishes, tomatoes and a chunk of watermelon….since they come in 20# size….the farmer gets a bit carried away;)

Silencing the buzz

A handy-dandy electrician just left Peacemeals after having switched in a new gizmo for an obnoxious buzzing one. At times its buzz pitch would reach alarm levels and I would turn on another noisy machine to lesson the impact – more racket hid the truth.

Yep, truth is not the obvious winner – it seems to become apparent after much searching and consideration of things far distant. There are too many gizmos sending out hummings and growls that truth is lost in the din. Excuses are made and life suffers from the largest to what still remains unseen. How dare we continue this path?

Our work as farmers is to provide the best produce to inspire folks to be strong and wise in their communities; to always have an extra place at the table. Truth might visit so let’s be ready with spinach, leeks, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, Brussels sprouts, Hakurei turnips and fennel.

Salt and grass

I was shocked one day, to look up from chopping onions, to see a police officer in full gear who was waiting to inform me that there were complaints of my mowing grass into the street. I know all about the whys and wherefores but everything on our street goes down a storm drain we paid for and into our own ditch rather than to the lake. I gathered up several cantaloupes and took one to each of my neighbors to sweeten the mistake I made. The greater offended one swept up my dried remains of day lilies! The next day, I looked up to see a city staff person who was there to inform me….

In the Good Book, we are told to be salt – to give flavor to the world around us; to inspire just actions, to love mercy and to walk this earth as sojourners. “Ollie Ollie in come free” – the can has been kicked and there is room at the table – for those in hiding, or in bondage and for those of us in control. Along with the salt and pepper shakers, I hope there are adobo, berbere and fenugreek present – I need to get to know them better.

We are within days of the autumnal equinox – we follow the calendar and thus fall farm shares begin the first week of October. Lots of choices to make today: Kale/Parsley/Jalapeño peppers, Melons, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Potatoes, Kohlrabi/Raspberries/Broccoli, Hakurei turnips/Beets, the last cucumbers; Juliet tomatoes and Sweet Peppers.

It’s better to trample grass….even if it has been shwooshed into the street than to walk on flavorless salt. Be the change that is hoped for – hey ho!