Here's the honest truth, straight from my desk overlooking the overgrown gardens on July 26th: I've been avoiding this blog. There is a rhythm to our yearly farming life that is comforting and seasonal and heavenly, but also makes me feel discouraged, like I've said it all before. Yes, it's July, yes the tomatoes are starting to turn tantalizing shades of pale red and orange, yes the eggplants are sizing up, yes ten billion more zinnias open their cheerful faces to the sky everyday. We feel deep gratitude for every new crop, every new taste, and every new harvest. Ellis ate his first tomato yesterday and gave us the biggest smile of wonder and joy - the acidic juice dripping down his chin was exactly as delicious as I told him it would be, way back in the snowy winter of his infancy. We've discovered that an ear of corn is the worlds best teething toy, and that he loves a cool dip in the pond as much as any of us do on a hot day.
But, again more honest truth, we're also feeling pretty worn down and distracted by the news these days, and that's a big part of why I've been avoiding more regular updates about our seasonal bounty. It would be easy for us - safely nestled on our little isolated patch of land, in our little rural town, in our liberal little northern state - to lose touch with the terrifying, painful, unthinkable things happening in our country's political system and justice system right now. But we can't and won't and don't want to, so instead we find ourselves sitting around the dinner table reading the news late every evening, after long dusty sweaty days of harvest and field work, and asking each other - How can this be happening? Can he really do that? What happens next? What can we do?
If the answers were to be found in the deep heart of a beautiful head of lettuce, or if the bees could tell us where to go and how to help, we'd be in good shape. But without fortune telling vegetables, all of this is just to say: I'm sorry the blog has been neglected this summer. I place one third of the blame on healthy summer chaos on the farm, one third on the adorable nine month old farmer that distracts us all with his happy singing, and one third on our attention being held hostage by the news.
Here's some reporting from this month on the farm:
- A parched and rainless June has silently slid into a parched and rainless July. August is, ahem, coming up, and the forecasts look unrelentingly sunny and dry and hot. Our irrigation system is getting a run for its money.
- We've had regular visits from a drone that photographs our fields as part of a study about the use of different aerial imagery analytics for small farmers. Drones!
- Rachel's house is almost done! The small team of builders has been up there every day all summer, and now that drywall is up, flooring is down, and tiles are ordered, the end is in sight.
As for what we're eating, most meals consist of a few handfuls of whatever was picked that day, maybe sauted with garlic and olive oil and miso, maybe drizzled with my go-to curry vinaigrette, maybe thrown on the grill, maybe eaten straight out of the bowl. But, for those who are more recipe-inclined, I've also added a few new favorites to the veggie pages, including Heidi Swanson's gribiche (hint: it's fancy potato salad!).