Last Week’s Rain Made Everything Green-Up Nicely
It was good to get a long soaking rain last weekend. It brought about two inches of much needed moisture.
Not only did it make us very happy, but you could actually see – within a few hours – the garden plants take on a new tinge of green.
While it was a strong storm (in fact, as the front rolled through the winds scared our kids when they heard our windows shake!), we were glad that the rain itself fell as a steady downpour.
Sometimes a big storm – even when the rain is badly needed – can come so quickly that it causes some washouts in our garden. But that wasn’t the case this time and we were glad that the soil was nice saturated.
Nature’s Calendar Has Deadlines
This week we will do our LAST in-ground planting. Why?
Anything we plant in the field after this week just doesn’t have enough time to mature before winter comes. Right now we are only planting things like radishes or spinach -- veggies that have a quick turn-around from seed-to-table.
Of course, some crops are heartier and can withstand the colder temps as fall weather sets in. Those are the things that we have already planted and can be picked even after the frost.
Plus, by using our low-tunnels, we can sustain the soil warmth for some crops – again, stretching the harvest dates out a bit further.
Magnet Farm – Thinking Long Term
You might think that we would be happy being one of the only small-farm organic enterprises in our area. Less competition, right?
And that is true. There are only a few CSA-type farms in our region, and the majority of them are a bit further north, nearer to Duluth.
But our vision and dream isn’t to dominate the market. Our hope is that Abraham’s Table Farm would be a “change-agent” -- that we can motivate others to start similar farms so that more people have fresher, healthier food options.
We'd like to be more of a “small farm incubator.”
It is a much bigger perspective than simply raising organic produce, heirloom varieties, or offering folks an alternative food-source. It is promoting a way of life. We want to stimulate others – in tandem with our like-minded supporters -- to recognize how their food and health decisions influence our culture.
The better we do our work, the greater number of people are helped. The more people who we help, the greater number of people can hear this vital message. It is a “slow and steady” process that can radically change our culture.
But more on that later....
Creative Cuisine Ideas From Megan
Have you seen any of Megan’s great cooking videos -- offering ideas and recipes that use the fruits and vegetables we provide in our food boxes? If you haven’t watched last week’s video, you will find some yummy options like Panzanella Salad; Sweet and Spicy Grilled Summer Squash; Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill & Feta; and Arugula Salsa Verde. Take a moment each week as you have opportunity. We’re sure it will get you motivated to try something new with the delicious and fresh veggies you may still have in your fridge!
Family Update From The Farm
We know many of you like to hear about how our family is doing. In the midst of a challenging season, we are glad to report that our four girls are pretty much growing – healthy and strong – like the garden!
The older three girls – Una, Rosemary and Frances – are still enjoying the warm days so they can run around barefoot. They spent much of the summer playing with and chasing each other. They were very happy when their Uncle David and Aunt Jemima (Joel’s younger sister) came for a week-long visit. During that time, Uncle David helped Uncle Daniel upgrade their treehouse! Thank you!
As for our six-month-old Beatrice, she is getting more mobile, crawling around, pulling herself up on furniture, and best of all, sleeping better (which Joel and Megan are both very thankful for!).
As we roll into September, Megan is easing her way into home schooling Una. At this point, it is really more a matter of keeping up with Una who has zoomed ahead and is reading by herself, and is also now working on adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers!
Of course, along with making weekly “cooking videos” for our website, Megan continues to plan and prepare (with help from our intern Beth) a big meal each evening for family and interns -- 10+ people (and more when guests visit!). But at this point in the season, just like those who work in the field, Megan wears her many hats well and seems to have found a rhythm -- which helps everyone else remain productive – and that is a great blessing for everyone.
As for the rest of our AFT family…
Our interns Joel and Jed were both away part of last week and enjoying a break from the farm. When that happens, it puts a little more pressure on the others, but we have a very good system in place so that the remaining workers can pick up the slack. Hitting The Wall
During these last days of summer, we're all tired from the push-push-push. But we can’t really slow down yet. The season’s end is still weeks away.
Our mindset for the entire season is similar to running a marathon. It is long, with a few up-hills and down-hills that give variety, but for the most part, everyone has to just keep on pushing through.
As we ease into September, we are at that point in our “farming marathon” which runners call “hitting the wall.” You feel depleted of your energy, but everyone knows they have to gut things out!
One more thing -- if you need a reminder that the cold weather isn’t too far away, maybe this will do it: we just had some firewood delivered for the winter--It's coming!