This Week on the Farm 11/19
A letter from Shelbi on her first season and wrapping up things on the farm in a chilly November:
A few weeks ago I was scrambling up some vegetables with my mom when she turned to me with a serious look and said,” You know what I HATE about CSA?” Considering CSA is my livelihood and my mom us usually the supportive type, I got a little nervous, “Whhhy?”
So while getting a weekly delivery is sort of like getting a holiday treat every week, mom thinks its sort of a tease. She loves getting a box of flavorful veggies to play around with and thinks ending it is a little unjust. All I can say is, so is Wisconsin. Cough, cough, 14 degrees in November, cough, cough. At least we have the holidays to get us through the off season.
I hope you have enjoyed, as much as I have, bringing that package home every week to come up with a new delicious concoction. I have brought parts of my box to gatherings with friends in Chicago, an Iron Lady tomato to a friend who had just completed an Iron Man, and the box has started conversations and creativity over the dinner table countless times. Having the pressure to get through an entire box of veggies before next week’s box forces you into a lot of outlets for connection with great people.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been wrapping up production on the farm. The most challenging was bringing in all of our irrigation hoses so that they didn’t freeze and explode! Since Tyler is off at a new job for the winter season and Kate is in the house with Devin, some of this I had to do on my own. I must have been quite a sight when I came inside with over twenty burrs in my hair and a fifty yard hose on the front of the four wheeler, not coiled neatly, but heaped in what I described to Tyler as, “An art project signifying I don’t really care but still need a job.” The fact that Tyler nodded his head, laughed, and went to get some parachute cord to try to contain my new art project (pictured at left) is a testament to the rigor of the work and the quality of the people who I have the have the sincere joy to be able to work with.
The week after we made our last delivery to you, we put together ten storage shares to keep people in veggies into the late winter. For each share, there were two full-size totes stuffed to the brim with Daikon radishes, radish mix, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, squash, and more. The package was very well received at my house and we still have so much squash to get through!
After we got the last of our veggies out of the field, my mom came out to help me roll up all of the frost protection blankets that had been keeping our delicate greens (relatively) warm. I popped a tire on the way in to the garage, so now we have a three wheeled truck full of sandbags that were holding the blankets down! Oops. However, it’s so nice that all of our material is in from the fields and we are ready to start up again in the spring.
Our last activity was to plant our seed garlic for next year. It started getting cold as we did this, so we actually had to plant the last third of the garlic underneath the hoophouse where the ground hadn’t yet frozen. We dug trenches, stuck 84 pounds of garlic in them (several day project as it was done by hand), and covered it with straw. They will stay cozy until the spring when they will start to sprout.
Lastly, I want to extend a huge thank you to our members that allow us to do what we do. When I was contemplating what to do with my life about a year and a half ago, I had a conversation with my grandpa, one of my favorite people in the world who lived his life with such integrity. I wanted to know how I could live like him. He only told me that I needed to have fun. He died soon after, and then I knew that in order to live more like him, I need to take his advice. Later, when I had quit my last job and come to work with Tyler and Kate, I knew I had made the right move. My mom came out and commented to me how much Grandpa would have loved this, figuring out how to fix things, growing vegetables, and getting to hang around good people and bring the dogs to work too! I learned that in having fun, this job allowed me to help people, to connect with them, and to be so happy. I learned this season that there is so much to be said for having fun and loving the people you work with. It is the only true way you are going to be of the best service you can be to the world.