Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Farm Shares August 5

The onslaught has begun: the astonishing abundance of a summer well watered and warm. In the midst of our second monsoon season this year, the corn has emerged jubilant and vast numbers of tomatoes lurk days away, taunting us. What will we do with dozens of ears of corn, pounds and pounds and pounds of tomatoes and those ubiquitous carrots?

A sister participant in this plenty told me today that one Haitian dish is carrot pie. Made with a flour crust, a white sauce and raw thinly sliced carrots. She did not describe seasonings.

It is in these weeks – mid summer through early fall – when the vegetables are maturing that our cooperative practice matures as well. Chris the farmer knows he can ask for our help and we will respond if we can. We are prodigious pickers glad to revisit our earlier farmer lives. Most households provide a worker at some point to help with pick up and packing and most household members appreciate how much work goes into getting the produce from field to the bag delivered to their neighborhood. This week was no exception.

This was our largest share ever. Chris helped us by dropping it from his truck last night. Members were there to receive it and then back at 6 a.m. to trim the corn, divide and pack everything up. Then we all went to our jobs. As satisfying as all this fresh food can be, it is this easy cooperation among us that truly nourishes.

This week’s share was like last week’s but more of it:

Cilantro – new this week
Lots of basil
Fresh corn
Carrots
Eggplant
Lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Potatoes, the last I think, for now
Cucumber
Onions
Dill for a few
Zucchini, now beginning to approach the size of a cricket bat, and a few summer yellows

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In our own garden, the worry and work that Pat put into starting plants during the winter is providing its reward. We have tomatoes and what looks to be a wonderful, diverse crop of peppers. Lemon cukes, winter squash and watermelon are showing promise. The early potatoes have been harvested and another crop planted. It is perhaps a mundane assurance, but comfort none the less to look out the window and watch vegetables and herbs flourish, with the occasional zinnia poking through the unruly mass of green that is our back yard. There is sustenance for now and maybe there will be some for tomorrow, that is consolation enough for this day.

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