May 9, 2019
By Charis Lindrooth
I was lucky enough to capture a rare video interview
with the Farmer…okay, I snagged him by the collar at the end of a long day…. In 55 seconds, this hard working fellow charmed my heart all over again.
Sometimes it is hard to face the uncertainty a new growing season holds. We have been at this long enough to know that weather, pests, equipment failure, employee snags are all potential hurdles that we will have to clear in order to successfully deliver the best produce we can grow to our customer’s table.
Right now the vibrant green of the fields, the fragrant scent of the generous earth and the magic of emerging seedlings entice joy from our hearts, as the whiff of honey lures the bear from hibernation.
The Farmer is that bear. He cannot resist the call of the fields, straight rotatilled rows of good dirt, waiting to receive the seed and seedlings from his hand. Years of toiling under the hot sun, the pouring rain, and everything in between has not diminished his love of growing food for others.
Knock on wood, so far this season is the strongest we have had in years. Our crew is small but determined, and the crops are looking beautiful. We are already enjoying the first spring greens and asparagus on our own greedy plates. Zucchini, sweet peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, chard, kale…they are all coming along!
What we need now is people lining up to eat the bounty. The best way to eat more veggies is to join a CSA, and the best CSA, offering customizable boxes and the freshest, cleanest produce, grown by the kindest, hardest-working, passion-about-vegetables Farmer, is…of course…Red Earth Farm!
April 28, 2019
Dandelion Day Again!
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Some things never change. The seasonal cycle of nature is ever-present in our life on the farm. Our dandelion display is just one example. I hope you will forgive me for re-posting this from last year. You can see a video of this year's nearly identical dandelific exhibition on Facebook and Instagram.
As you can see from this picture, we don't spray our lawn for dandelions. This carpet of gold appeared quite suddenly last week, and at its appearance our daughter leapt from the car. She only paused a moment to say, "Mama, is it "Dandelion Day?" Yes, I guess it is! Only once a year, and only for a few days, can you see this burst of sunshine in the grass, without one single "wish," the white puffy seed heads. There is something magical about it, tempting one to take a nap in the sun and listen to the buzz of honeybees.
Although many lawn aficionados decry the dandelion as a weed, these prolific blooms provide essential nourishment early in the season for pollinators. Bees and butterflies, beetles and even birds, benefit from the dandelion. Often this plant offers the very first feeding for insects, and so can make or break a colony's successful survival.
A week later, gold turned to snow. I'm sure many a lawn aficionado would shudder at this sight, but there is a little-known secret about these "wishes." The dandelion seeds provide a smorgasbord for finches. What you cannot see in this photo are the flashes of brilliant gold, like flying dandelions, swooping goldfinches, indigo buntings too, relishing the tiny seeds attached to the fluffy white parachutes. The Farmer has a soft spot for these little birds, and when he did mow, he left a patch for the enthusiastic foragers. He then climbed off the tractor and stretched out in the tall grass watching the clouds and birds fly by. When he came in tufts of white dandelion seeds clung to his hair and scruffy face, and his eyes twinkled with a boy's good fun.
If you like vegetables that haven't been sprayed by chemicals, and that have been grown by a Farmer who cares about little critters and big critters, and who is thoughtful and kind...maybe these things really do make a difference...then please support our family farm and join the 2019 CSA
. We would love to grow for you.
March 24, 2019
Signs of Spring
By Charis Lindrooth
Since I couldn't get a pic of the woodpecker, you have to settle for baby beets!
I spotted a pileated woodpecker for the first time on the farm yesterday. This avian insectivore is a massive bird and was too shy for my camera to capture him, but even after he disappeared from view I could here the loud rattatat of his mighty beak against the hollow trees that line the farm fields.
Flocks of robins have also made their appearance, hopping and bobbing across fresh-tilled ground in their search for breakfast. "Our" indigo bunting is back and the first crocuses and snowdrops are blooming. Even though the temperature has been chilly, the sun is strong and the seedlings in the greenhouse are growing vibrantly.
Spring holds a sense of promise on the farm. It is always a time of anticipation as we prepare to feed our veggie-loving fans.