Resilience – stronger with adversity

Muscles are built by first being injured; the repair job depends on our choices of rest and refreshment. I hope to stand straight and tall into my elder years, thus I run to out-stress my worst fears and eat what grows where I live, which supports family, friends and our community. It’s a donation without a tax break but a vote for the resiliency of our town.

After several days of hard frost this past week, I assumed that all was over for the outdoor crops – but No! certain plants can take a freeze and bounce back: lettuces, spinach, cabbages, Brussel sprouts, raspberries and more. Our season extension capabilities rely on this knowledge and keeping the plants protected under row covers. We all sleep under blankets on this farm – except for maybe the chickens!

A company dinner is a research moment to trial new recipes, thumbs up or down? I made oven roasted Brussel sprouts (cut in half with olive oil & salt, marjoram at the last with parmesan), Farmer Lynn’s beef with broccoli floretts & tomatoes over rice, a pac choi/mizuna salad with apples and ginger (yummers!) and a chocolate cake with the surprise ingredient of pureed beets! Whoo Whoo – this was not a big veggie group of folks but there was only a rim of cake left over from the whole meal.

Our two high tunnels were moved along their tracks in early spring and then last week to cover the fall crops. Instead of using an engine – a winch off of a tractor battery, three of us managed the grunt work and pushed them into position! What a riot! Renewable energy at its finest.

The farm walk early this morning indicated that market boxes should include: Daikon radishes, Chinese cabbage (like napa), a head of cabbage, Brussel sprouts, Tokyo bekana, pac choi, an autumn salad mix, head lettuce, sweet peppers, onions, potatoes, and winter squash.

Sunny days are here!

The temperature is reading 90°F and the building site is quiet; the work crew has taken the afternoon off. Whew! I am not good with emergency medical situations, as in rescuing a worker who faints into the cistern hole. The foundation is to be poured tomorrow so we hope all entrances and exits have been accounted for and no need for future drilling of new holes into cement walls.

Tomorrow, Steve and I will be touring Foxtail farm near Osceola, Wisconsin to learn from their experiences since it looks very similar to what we hope to accomplish in Mountain Lake with our new building. I haven’t been on an outing since February! Whoo Whoo!

In another week all the family will be here as well as one of my sisters. Do we have plans for them! Many hands will help change both high tunnel roofs that were damaged in a winter hail storm. There are weeds at the wedy, awot to hawest and pickos and hwams to cweate!

Tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash are moving in on us. Yoikes! Purple basil is needing to be pulled out because it is crowding the green peppers. We also had parsley intercropped with tomatoes and are finding that cherry tomatoes have grown 10 feet and their vines need to be let down to coil at the base.

Market boxes should contain: herbs, cucumbers, carrots, kale, tomatoes, chard, summer squash, beets and spring onions. Green beans will be for sale. As you know, this list will change by Wednesday…..

Remember to register for fall and winter shares before the end of July to receive a discount. We are beginning to plant for those seasons and would like to have every produce share in the tally.

Fiesta time

Whew! The new tunnel is now completed! We called some friends if they would not mind rolling out of bed early Saturday morning to help us put the plastic roof on before the wind picked up. Terrific friends for a perfect day. It isn’t all that complicated; we just didn’t want to sail away on the breath of a breeze.

Both tunnels have also been moved one plot west. We jumped track several times in the process, but in general we stayed the course. Friends came over to glean green tomatoes. They were awestruck by the size of the vines and the tomatoes. Haha! It was party time, dreaming of all the salsa verde. On Sunday, we had a progressive supper while sitting at our table eating homemade tortillas as more food arrived! In thanks for the green tomatoes we received pozole, a pork and hominy soup. What shall I say? It was a sweet ending to a most grace-filled weekend.

Our walk and talk tour on Thursday past was a lot of fun. Questions help us ponder the whys and wherefores about life in a constructive manner. I tried out a new hot pumpkin beverage and judging by the leftovers, only 2 jars had something remaining at the bottom, it was well received. Nathan had suggested using pint-sized canning jars for glasses, which I have plenty of at the moment.

We have planned a fun season finale for those who can come this Saturday anytime between the hours of 2 – 5 p.m. Squash is the main theme since there are a few mammoth Boston marrows left for us to slice and dice. There will be a variety of foods containing squash to sample from beverage to dessert but not the usual fare: no pies or quick bread. Squashy activities are planned such as decorating an acorn squash and squash bingo with prizes. Let us know if you can come and if you are bringing children or a friend or two. We will be indoors unless it is a balmy day.

The harvest this week should include spinach as well as head lettuce, carrots, potatoes, pac choi, onions, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, chard and cilantro.

All the Asian greens go well with any quick cooked vegetable; they don’t like to stew. I had leftover noodles this week and each night I made a different dish other than the original spaghetti. I start with onions and a bit of garlic, add in whatever veggie is handy, meat or beans for protein, noodles at the end of the cooking, a bit of salt and ya, listo! Cheese can be added at the end so it can melt a bit. Cilantro on top for pizzaz. Hot salsa for sitting up straight and in 15 minutes the meal is ready!