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Crisp Mornings & Whispering Winds {Week 14 CSA}


The earliest frost we've seen at the farm in our 8 years of tending to it was September 16th, but this year is threatening to break records... again.


It shouldn't be surprising at this point. Nothing should be, really, in this era of unpredictable everything. But it's interesting how there are hidden expectations defining our perspective at all times, only made visible when they are rather jarringly unmet. Even without the erratic effects of a changing climate, our area has one of the shortest growing seasons in the world. We're on par with Alaska, but they at least have the benefit of 20+ hours of sunlight for most of their peak season. So it's understandable that having our already limited peak season cut unexpectedly short would be a hard pill to swallow. Especially for farmers.


We always tell aspiring farmers up here that they need to become a year-round farm if they want a decent quality of life. For the veteran farmers in our region (think Lattin Farms and Custom Gardens), that's almost blasphemy. Peak season is short up here, yes, but it still has an uncanny ability to kick your butt. It's relentless in its bounty and not without its own surprises (hello late June hailstorm tearing up our greens), and the long and sweltering days take their toll on even the most rambunctious of farmers (hello Zach!). It's no surprise that farmers would much prefer to keep their winters off!


But if organic, sustainable farming has any chance of getting truly established up here, young farmers need to be able to afford the land they choose to steward. They need to be able to afford health insurance, a home, and a basic quality of life. Food that actually reflects the cost of growing it in a good, clean way (i.e. without the hidden costs on our collective air, land, and water) is a start. But growing for all 12 months out of the year is the real ticket.


What's interesting is that even with all of our greenhouses enabling us to grow food through the depths of winter and many feet of snow, we still feel the pang of what very well could be an early frost this year. The forecast has been shifting for the coming days, but even seeing the chance of a 36-degree night in the first few days of September has our eyebrows furrowed.


Farming at our altitude is an ever-shifting dance with the temperature and the sun. If we don't get our cold season seedlings in the ground early enough to take root and gain some resilience, they'll either be melted by the first autumn frost (especially when it arrives in late summer!) or they won't grow enough before the amount of sunlight hours per day causes them to stop growing entirely... which would mean they cannot be harvested ever.


We talk about surrender a lot as farmers. You've likely noticed me mention it more than once across these CSA newsletters. Heck, we even named our farm after the most reverent form of surrender we know of. Such is the nature of farming, and really, the most consistent request from life in general. Only fools believe they're fully in control of their lives and destiny, and they suffer for it, hands and jaws clenched tight on what will never be.


Perhaps the greatest gift that Zach and I both independently received early in our lives, through our own challenging and dysfunctional upbringings, was the wisdom to let go what we could not control while obsessively relishing the silver linings. It's the smoothest way to traverse life's challenges and it's the most comfortable approach to farming we've found. We call it the karma yoga of farming: show up each and every day with your absolute best, and give the results to nature herself.


We're imperfect, of course, and might grumble a bit before and after the frost bites and crops are lost. But we're experienced enough to move beyond it pretty swiftly. And so here we are again: hearing the whispers of surprises in the wind and consenting to bend along with it.



The beginnings of some almost-ready corn planted in a small zone as in the three sisters method, but who knows if they'll get the chance to fully ripen. The Iroquois and the Cherokee called corn, bean, and squash “the three sisters” because they nurture each other like family when planted together.

 

Inside Your Box This Week


Summer String Beans

Aji Rico Peppers (Spicy)

Swiss Chard

Bok Choy

Scallions

Zucchini

Arugula

Carrots

Celery

 

Recipes Worth Trying...

{click images to go to recipe}



 

For supporting our small organic farm.

For helping pave a way forward for regenerative agriculture.

For investing in young farmers.

For buying local.

We're honored to nourish you!








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