Farmer John Writes: The Clump on The Stump

Harvest Week 21, Week 1 of the Extended Season, October 26th – 29th

Make Sure You are Supposed to Be Picking up a Box this Week
Log in to your membership at www.angelicorganicsfarm.csasignup.com/login to confirm whether you are signed up for an extended season share.

If you have a half extended season share, this is an “odd” delivery week as it is Week 1 of the extended season. If you have a half extended season share, you can find out if you are on the odd or even delivery schedule by logging in to your membership.

Your Box This Week – Saturday, October 29th

Please note: this summary is written before we pack your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. At times, a bit of improvisation is required for selecting the contents of your share. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale Tops
  • Ear of Popcorn (find popping instructions further below)
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Parsley

From a Shareholder
Just a quick note to thank all of you for the Brussels sprouts. My husband really looks forward to them each year, and after the news that they weren’t doing so well, I told him not to expect any. So it was a real treat to find them in our box Thursday. Yay!

Popcorn
Your popcorn might be dry enough when you receive it to pop right away, or you might need to husk the ear and let it dry on your counter for a while. Some people pop it on the cob in the microwave, with kids watching through the appliance window. Some shell it and pop it in a frying pan or popcorn popper.

Your Box
I have been mentioning in recent communications to our shareholders that our normal array of extended season crops this year will be different than usual. The extended season share is much leafier than normal. This can be directly attributed to a very unusual and surprising shortfall of fall broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Since there was considerable spoilage of these crops in the field, we found ourselves adding more squash, potatoes and carrots to the main season boxes than we planned on giving, which resulted in a shortfall of these crops now. A labyrinth, no? Like life, where one thing affects another affects another, and pretty soon, if we are not mindful, we can lose sight of what caused what.

Rudolf Steiner mentioned this sort of confusion in his lectures on social renewal—that people mean well, but the social programs that are often introduced do not take into account the various repercussions that will result from a program’s implementation; therefore many programs simply fail, even those that at first glance look successful, because of the myriad reverberations throughout society, many of which are not noticed or tracked.

Of course, the difference between what Steiner was talking about and our CSA boxes is that I have not lost sight of what caused the boxes to be long on greens and short on storage crops this fall. However, I like being reminded that both the composition of your CSA box and social life are affected by numerous interrelationships, some noticeable and some not. Steiner’s Lectures on Agriculure, which laid the groundwork for Biodynamic agriculture, highlight many of the synergies that occur within a diverse, balanced farm that would escape the notice of most.

babychoi
Greens Galore

Weather
The warm fall weather can easily lull one into thinking it will continue in the same direction, like how many people assume a trend in stocks or the housing market will continue.

From Farm News many years back:

“At the lunch table, Mother said, “I heard on the weather radio that we were going to get a hard frost last night. I had a hard time sleeping; I was worried your shareholders were going to lose all that lettuce. But when I got up this morning at 5:30, it was 39 degrees.”

“When did all those chickens freeze?” I asked.

“Chickens? Oh, that was Armistice Day- November 11, 1940. They weren’t our chickens. They belonged to a neighbor. Twelve of their chickens were roosting on a stump. It was 75 degrees that afternoon. A terrible wind came up. My laundry was hanging on the line. It blew way over into the field where your pumpkins were growing this year. The next morning it was 25 below. All those chickens froze, right there on that stump in a clump.”

Farmer John’s Note: The fate of the chickens reminds me of the housing crash in 2008.

From Farm News, Week 21, 2015
I checked out last year’s Farm News for the first week of extended season, and noticed this:

My Two Favorite Things about our CSA
What I love most about our CSA are: 1)  growing things and 2) providing our shareholders with a direct experience of our farm. My mother loved farms. I love farms. I love that I can offer a direct, personal experience of our farm to you, through our box of vegetables, the newsletter, our field days, the U-Pick garden, and, of course, through the Angelic Organics Learning Center. I want the whole world to be excited about farms.

This statement “I want the whole world to be excited about farms” sums up a cornerstone of my life’s mission. What better way (for most) than the Community Supported Agriculture model for getting people excited about farms—at least the Angelic Organics farm?

From a Shareholder
“Hi, I was sad to read in this week’s letter that some shareholders are complainers. But that’s life, right? …some people always find something to complain about. I myself have LOVED everything about the boxes and the fruit so far this year my first year! I am looking forward to the extension season too and signed up for 2017 already! I love the variety and learning how the different crops turn out and what does well and what may have an off year. It’s been fantastic! Thanks so much for all you do! I do want to get to shareholders day next summer!”

garlicplanting
Planting garlic last week for the 2017 season

Let us Know
Let Shelly know anything you’d like to share about this week’s box at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Please note the week and day of delivery, your site, when you picked up your box, and any comments about your box.

More from Shareholders
Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them, Especially if You have been Stockpiling Them
The farm re-uses the vegetable boxes. Flaps are easily torn when the boxes are dismantled improperly, and then the box bottom might later burst open with fresh, organic local produce heading towards the floor. Please flatten your box carefully. Return your empty, flattened vegetable box to your delivery site. If you receive home delivery, place your box(es) in the location where your box is delivered. If you receive fruit, you’ll need to re-cycle your fruit box on your own, as the farm does not re-use your fruit boxes.

Warmly,
Farmer John

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