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September 10, 2015
Teamed Up
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
A decade ago on this day, the Farmer married one of his CSA members; that was me. A full moon rose in the late afternoon and smiled at the beautiful ceremony set right in the middle of a hillside. I am sure some guests were too hot, and others got restless during the longer speeches, but I remember the sweet smell of the dry meadow grass, the intensity of the blue sky over us and the feeling of love and joy radiating at us from the friends that surrounded us.
Reflecting on our journey over the past ten years, I am struck by the value our partnership brings to Red Earth Farm. Truly, the farm is like one of our off-spring, unruly, temperamental, worrisome and at times, deeply rewarding. Together we have raised this "terrestrial" child through ups and downs, comparable to the trials and tribulations we have endured as parents of "real" children.
I remember pack days in the early years of our marriage. In those days a good portion of our crew lived with us which made it easy to work extra long days. We harvested all day and then packed our boxes in the afternoon...or evening...or night. We played raucous music and laughed and tried to stay awake as we tried to pack each box accurately. Needless to say, we made lots of mistakes.
In fact, the one lesson we have learned about farming...and about parenting.. and about being married is that all three of these processes are a set up for making mistakes. We've become quite skilled at making mistakes, rolling with the punches and then making it up as gracefully as possible.
Accepting mistakes, forgiving each other, trusting that we each are trying our best to do our best combined with lots of cuddling are the essential ingredients in the first decade of our marital happiness. I will let you know how the next one turns out!
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July 5, 2015
A Tomato and a Kiss
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
By now our veteran members are quite familiar with the concept of eating seasonally, but for newer members, the CSA might be their first real experience with it. The concept is simple: when each crop is ripe, we harvest it and send it to you. Some crops take months to ripen, like winter squash, and some only do well in the cooler part of June, like snap peas, radishes and spinach. We do not offer items like asparagus, because the height of the asparagus harvest is in May, before the CSA. So how does Romance figure into this equation? Please remember that vegetables are REALLY important to the Farmer and sharing them with others is one of his greatest joys. Now, the Farmer's wife likes vegetables a whole lot too, almost as much as flowers, and once upon a time she was a CSA member, back when the Farmer's CSA was only about 35 members. Way back then, a little romance in the CSA box began.
Little vegetable gifts began appearing in the Future Farmer's Wife's box: hearts of fennel, sugar snap peas, the first sungold tomatoes, delicata squash - her personal favorites. This was in the end, as you all know, very effective, and remains one of our favorite romantic moments. The Farmer still brings her the very first ripe of our favorites: 6 or 7 small red new potatoes appear on the empty kitchen counter, the first tender small zucchini, and most recently, 5 plump red cherry tomatoes - just enough to decorate our evening salad, and highly deserving a of a kiss on the Farmer's scruffy face.
So the Farmer's romantic gifts to his wife, are a herald of what will soon be ripe in in your box. You will have to wait for your tomatoes, but they are indeed coming, and maybe you can find a way to celebrate the first ones in your box!
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May 30, 2015
Happy Birthday to the Farmer!
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
The Farmer's Dad always tells a story about the Farmer's birth at a Memorial Day swim party...well not exactly at it, but dramatically almost at it. Now, a little grey speckles the Farmer's beard and swim parties remain a distant memory. His mind is focused on things like dirt, what's growing, including weeds and what needs to be done. With the CSA main season beginning this week, we are all distracted from thinking much about celebrations. Still, I want to take a moment to celebrate this hard-working guy in front of anyone who cares to listen.
It takes a special kind of guy to farm vegetables sustainably. He needs endurance, perseverance and vision. He must like the outdoors extremely muchly. Blazing heat, pouring rain, chilly mornings and long days cannot deter him. Dirt must be one of his best friends, since he has little time for socializing. Working 7 days a week during the growing season, from dawn to dusk, must seem like a great idea. Multi-tasking is essential as is managing a crew of 20 people simultaneously performing a variety of chores. And then we he is finished the farm work, he must be a cheerful, available Dad for his kids and a patient, kind ear for his Wife. That's me.
This is my Farmer, honest as the sky is big and hard-working as the ocean is deep. I am proud to stand by him on this journey we have chosen. And happy to make him a big, sloppy, strawberry cake in his honor! Happy birthday my love!
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April 12, 2015
CSA Romance
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
The Farmer wooed me with sun gold tomatoes and fennel hearts. For our first date he took me on a picnic. In clean overalls, I kid you not, he picked me up and took me to a field of gold. There he unwrapped his carefully prepared vegetables, melons and aged cheeses. Did we have wine too? I don't remember. But I do remember that the early morning’s frost had vanished in the warm autumn sun. We were friends already, sparked that day at my Open House (see previous blog post). But this marked a new beginning for us. The sweetness of nature, the simple meal and the ease of being together made this moment memorable.
In my next CSA box I found two small cucumbers and another box of sun golds, treasures back in those early farming days. Each week a new surprise in my box, melon, fennel, eggplant, and love notes. By the time the growing season ended we were in love. A year later we gathered with friends and family on a beautiful hillside on a sunny afternoon. I remember walking up the field towards the gathering. I looked back over my shoulder to see the full moon rising. The big smiling “child’s moon” was giving me away.
We celebrate our tenth anniversary this September. While we have thoughts of romantic trips to exotic distant lands, most likely we will wander up the hillside of our beautiful farm, spread a blanket on the warm grass, and share a simple meal grown by our own hands. Sun gold tomatoes for sweetness. Fennel hearts for love. Kale salad for groundedness. Somehow, it doesn't get better than that.
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