A Break in the Weather, Mob-Planting Day, & CSA/Market Cards

A Break in the Weather

I’m relieved I didn’t post the newsletter when I should have, last Thursday, because it may have been nothing but expletives. Mid-August on a small, year-round, vegetable farm can be crazy-making. We had just experienced a string of cloudless 100F+ days, watching the storms pass within sight to both the north and the south without a drop of rain, and thoroughly tested the limits of our irrigation (which we’re scheduled to upgrade later in the week, whew). Decisions were made between which crops to save and which we could afford to lose. It can seem like every day in August is a series of fires, both figurative and literal, and some you just have to let burn.

Across the small-farm social media world, farmers begin to #realtalk about farming as a vocation this time of year. Curated pictures of the photogenic corners of the farm give way to posts like, “farming isn’t for the faint of heart, sometimes I don’t even know if it’s for me” and this one from a farm we particularly admire…

“To clarify: we spend our days sweating, covered in dirt, and wishing we could do everything faster and better. The oft-underrepresented truth is that farming is stressful, skilled, and demanding work. Each day can feel daunting (particularly this time of year) and you’re constantly fighting the fear and sense of injustice that you struggle to make a living doing what you love. And yet this is what you love. The open sky, the shift of the seasons, picking vegetables for dinner, the small triumphs, and the deep sleep. Can’t something be both beautiful and hard? Can’t something be more beautiful because it is hard?"  - Ten Mothers Farm, NC

“To clarify: we spend our days sweating, covered in dirt, and wishing we could do everything faster and better. The oft-underrepresented truth is that farming is stressful, skilled, and demanding work. Each day can feel daunting (particularly this time of year) and you’re constantly fighting the fear and sense of injustice that you struggle to make a living doing what you love. And yet this is what you love. The open sky, the shift of the seasons, picking vegetables for dinner, the small triumphs, and the deep sleep. Can’t something be both beautiful and hard? Can’t something be more beautiful because it is hard?"

- Ten Mothers Farm, NC

But, Saturday morning, it felt different. Something in the air had changed from Summer to Fall. Though there is still much to do to prepare for Winter—we’ll get to that in a second—we breathed a collective sign of relief. For one, we may not have to battle the oppressive heat for the rest of the year, but more importantly, we let go of the weight of our own expectations, if only temporarily. It’s more important to compare ourselves to last year instead of to others in our current season. When I look back through photos (you ever go into iPhoto and just scroll backwards forEVER?) of last year, I realize our little farm has come a long ways, and has an even longer way to go, if we ever get there in this lifetime, which we won’t. The more you learn about farming, the less you know, and in six short weeks we’ll begin the inward, reflective part of our year-round farming. Until then…

Volunteer Mob-Planting on Thursday

There is one more big push between us and the downhill ride to Winter growing… the Fall ransplant. Our first round of Fall plants are finally ready to go in the ground, better late than never. Now, if only we were so ready! There are still a handful of beds that need to be prepared, a small moveable tunnel to be REmoved, and a few dozen wheelbarrows of compost to be spread. If you’re free Thursday afternoon/evening, and looking for a #farmfit workout, we’re offering soup and a bon-fire for folks willing to come out and do some planting, move some compost, or ride the broadfork. Just send us a quick RSVP so we know how much food to make.

StoneHouse CSA

Our late Summer successions are a bit all over the place. The peppers, though prolific this year, are on the way out, and our late tomatoes are not quite on the way in, yet. The beans and squash, however, are on point. So, the shares for the next couple-few weeks will be on the lite side as we plant, seed, and wait for the first of the Fall greens and roots to grow.

Tuesday folks will get head lettuce, a handful of tomatoes, mixed sweet peppers, squash/zucchini, CUCUMBERS (third plantings a charm), green beans, and a honeydew melon from fellow Community Farmers Market grower Peaceful Valley. For next week’s share, y’all can expect a large head of lettuce, arugula, squash/zucchini, cucumber, beans, scallions, and concord table grapes from Need More Acres Farm.

And, boxes. If you have any 1/2 bushel CSA boxes, please bring them to your next pickup.

New CSA Members & Market Cards

Our next CSA season begins the first week of November. If you’re interested in joining our Winter CSA (Nov thru April), please send us a message. The cost is $540, or $500 if you’re able to pay before the end of August, or $90/month (first month installment to reserve your membership). For those who can’t commit to a 1/2 bushel box of produce, but still want to support our farm in a significant way, we do offer…

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StoneHouse MarketCards. Simply invest $200 in our farm, and we’ll give you a $220 market card to use at our stand at Community Farmers Market. Market card members also get the same discounts we give to CSA members for bulk veg. These will be arriving within the week, hopefully available at Community Farmer Market next Saturday. We’re doing ten for the season, and several have already been spoken for, so send us a message ASAP.

Around the Farm