Sunday, October 10, 2010

Season's winding down, but harvest is going strong

It's week 18 of our CSA distribution and some might be surprised to learn the boxes are not filled just with kale or arugula. This weeks share is both beautiful and diverse. Boxes are packed with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale (of course), chard, lettuce, leeks, peppers, eggplants, hot peppers, turnips, an assortment of herbs, celeriac, potatoes, tomatoes (albeit just a handful) and pumpkins! Now that's impressive.

When I was harvesting the cabbage in the field I knew I had to make Borscht this weekend, a potato, cabbage and beet soup. While there are a variety of things to harvest, it doesn't take us very long to do it. Tomato picking used to take 2hrs now it takes 20 minutes. The pace of our day has slowed down considerably and it is almost a shock to go from working so much to having very little to do. This time of the year we start cleaning tools, organizing sheds, removing hoses from the fields, removing dead plants from the field that can't be turned in, draining the oil out of the rototiller, and tackling the small projects we don't have time to do in the summer.

One such project was insulating the root cellar. On a gray drizzly day we assembled in this root cellar to insulate the ceiling. A root cellar needs high humidity but not so much that it drips condensation on top of the produce. Root cellars are a great way to store potatoes, beets, carrots, apples, winter squash or other storage hardy vegetables for the long winter months. To insulate the ceiling, our resident handy man Mark helped us measure the panels, cut them, and then using an air gun bolt them to the cement ceiling. It was going swimmingly until we ran out of insulation..guess that will be a project for next years interns.

In the livestock department, things haven't been going so great for the goats. In the past few weeks we lost two bottle babies, one kid, and two older goats. We think the younger goats may have been infected by a worm or parasite. To prevent any further loss the livestock crew separated out any goats that looked weak, including our first bottle baby Lady, and put them inside a pen for shelter and so we could keep an eye on them. Lady seems to be healthy, which is encouraging. I love that I can see her more often. She is a little escape artist though, jumping out of her pen constantly. Sometimes she would wander over to the fence by the garden and call out to us. I really want to take her home and make her my second dog.

Photo by: Frankie Kim

One of our bottle babies that passed away, rest in peace Shrimp Salad

Yesterday I walked into barn where the goats and sheep are kept and I smelt a pungent cheese odor. I thought it was odd but then I saw Hollywood, the buck, in the pen with the sheep. I had been warned that a buck in rut smells pretty bad but I never experienced it firsthand. When bucks go into rut, male version of going into heat, they are completely different creatures. For starters they smell, and touching them by default will make you smell. Plus, they do some pretty gross things, one of them is drinking their own urine, the other I don't even think is mentionable on this blog. Ok, when have I ever held back? He sticks his, schlong, in his mouth. The reason he was separated from the herd of goats is because Ken, farm director, hasn't been pleased with Hollywood's offspring, mostly their poor survivor rate, and wants to try a new buck. A new one will be arriving next week. In reality we already have two bucks. However the other buck, Whopper, is special...I don't think he knows he's a buck, or if he does, he is clearly not interested in his female companions.

Autumn is a beautiful time on the farm and it is hard to believe that exactly one year ago I was interviewing for the garden intern position. I was in awe of the beauty of the farm then, and I still am 8- months later. Hard to believe I will be leaving soon. I think I really could enjoy having my own farm someday.

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