Farm Fest

The annual Farm Fest on Saturday was a hoot— the only day of the year that I get to hang out on the farm, not feel like I need to be doing anything in particular, and really chat with people. I spent the morning harvesting more flowers and making bouquets while the stand got set up, youth farmers set up infrastructure for the music, seating, cider pressing, and kids’ activities, and Jen coordinated the chopping and displaying of a couple dozen varieties of tomatoes for tasting. Attendance was a low, steady flow of regular farm stand and CSA customers, people with little kids running around, FOOD for Lane County staff and board members, and folks who just happened upon it for the first time— a now regular occurrence at the markets.

The cider was shockingly (as it tends to be, despite trying it every year) flavorful and thick— a distillation of all that sunlight-turned-sugar with a strong dose of pome flavor. The tomatoes were shockingly bright, tart, sweet— numbing my tongue after a few tastes and then reinvigorating it every time I went back with a fresh pallet. Zing! The farm stand display barely fit on even an extended line of tables out front— the season is abundant and we’re in the exact moment of overlap between summer and fall crops, when eggplants and strawberries shine beside the dried onions and winter squash.

To share it all makes me proud, and to see how much people appreciate it and are wowed by the farm makes me grateful that I’m such an integral part of it.

Let the beauty of what we love be what we do

-Rumi

It's all history

When I think back over another week that’s flown by without any writing, I try to think of the one thing that a day would be remembered by: a conversation? a new harvest? a challenge? a storm? By this time of the year I tend to think we’re cruising on auto pilot— that every day has become somewhat predictable and blurry under the steady stream of harvest— but it’s not true. Each day in my history continues to feel distinct, new things pop up, old things remain beautiful, and the blur of early autumn harvest time is punctuated in real time and in memory.

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Corn season

Corn season

It's finally fresh corn season on the farm.  In just the week I was gone, our first planting came and (almost) went.  Our next one is fully pumping now, and we have four more waiting after that.  Imagine: the youth farmers were planting baby seedlings for our last round, just down the field from where others were harvesting from the first round last week.  Field two, behind the greenhouses, is a microcosm of the summer season, with three successional rounds planted side by side, baby to kid to teenager corn stalks, all still waiting to tassel and reproduce.  The crazy part of it all, I realized yesterday, is that each planting's maturity brings us one week closer to the end of the crew's season.  By the time they say goodbye at the end of September, we'll be closing in on those last plantings that today seem so far off from ever producing ears.

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Annual blueberry picking

Annual blueberry picking

I went blueberry picking on Sunday with my dear friends Sherman and Matt.  When some people say blueberry picking, they mean filling up a bowl with enough berries to make a pie or snack on for the week.  When I say blueberry picking, I'm not messing around.  We left with about 100 pounds of huge, ripe, mouth-watering fruits, my hatchback filled on all surfaces with boxes, our fingers stained and our bellies full….

Ah yes!  In reality it's Mama who is right: tanks are perishable, pears are eternal

- Milan Kundera in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting 

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Seventy-five bunches

Seventy-five bunches

We're in a free-fall at the moment.  It's been a steady slide all spring, some bumps and dips.  We even caught some air here and there along the way.  As the fields continue to need preparing and planting, beds need weeding and tending, and irrigation becomes a full-time concern, we are now also harvesting every day of the week.  All of which, in all its glory and beauty, means a complete free-fall into summer.  If all goes right, we'll land on a bed of pillowy kale, shake off and try to remember what clouds look like, and just keep rolling.

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