Our Crew was Stellar in the Hottest, Driest Season on Record – 19th Harvest Week: Tue, Wed, & Thurs Delivery for Oct 16, 17, & 18, 2012
Growing Manager Chris Voss Writes . .
Greetings from Angelic Organics
Until September, it has been hot this season, really hot. Hot and dry. The farm crew, like their vibrant vegetable pledges, handled the heat with remarkable resilience and endurance. Crops have wilted in the fields, folding their leaves in an attempt to minimize the amount of water that the sun’s rays leech away from them. Livestock have sought the shelter of the shade in an effort to stave off the heat. But the farm team, your farm team, continued to toil. Here’s a brief glimpse into their day and the efforts that they took in order to bring you the very best vegetables that we could provide.
The days typically begin at 7:00 a.m., but with the hot, dry summer we decided to start at 6:00 a.m. The extra hour in the cool, dew-laden morning was just the start that both crew and vegetables love. Many of the vegetables that we provide could quickly wilt in the late morning sun once harvested from the ground that provides the supply of moisture they require, so earlier is better. The mornings always start with a morning meeting in which responsibilities and tasks are divided out amongst the four teams of four that handle the vast majority of the workload. By 6:15 a.m., the crew was out into the fields beginning the day with a vigor and enthusiasm that was palpable. The quicker the harvest is, the better it is for the vegetables and crew alike.
By 10:00 a.m. the heat began to creep up. Many of the faces of the farm team began to share the same color as the red mercury in the thermometer that signaled the increase in temperature. Still they harvested and worked to provide. We always take water out into the fields with us when we work, but in the searing heat constant reminders to drink were critical. The temperatures quickly rose and as they did, the work tended to slow down. The crew, just like their counterpart plants, has biological mechanisms meant to conserve hydration.
After lunch, any harvesting of leafy vegetables was over but there were countless fruits (melons, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers) that could be harvested in the afternoon. And even if we were ahead of the harvest with the fruit crops, fieldwork such as weeding or managing our row covers needed attention. In other words, although some of the harvesting stopped when the heat got too intense, the crew continued to work in the fields to provide for our shareholders. If harvesting vegetables in 110 heat index weather sounds challenging, applying a four bed row cover complete with 225 sand bags, each weighing 25 pounds, spaced six feet apart became a true struggle of fortitude.
It would be easy for one to think that this work environment would have become stifling or too much to bear, leaving the crew dour, but quite the opposite occurred. The farm team smiled, laughed and expeditiously went through the work buoyed by a sense of pride and accomplishment when the work is done. It’s not the sweat caused by the heat or the continuous dust that fills the air that gave them this sense of purpose. This sense came from the incredible work they did together as a team to provide food that they hope will nourish not only your bodies but also your souls.
Now, as the season winds down, the crew encounters the cold, the rain and the wind with the same enthusiasm and determination as they did the summer’s heat. We truly do have an incredible farm team!
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Fruiting Crops – Butternut squash and an Acorn or Sweet Dumpling squash
Brassicas – a stalk of Brussels sprouts cut in half, broccoli or cauliflower
Salad Greens –lettuce, spinach
Cooking Greens – kale, Pac Choi
Root crops – carrots
Herbs – dill
Vegetable of the Week: Brussels Sprouts