Last one, y'all! The ditch has run dry and after this week all the crops will have been harvested. It surprised both of us how emotional it was to see the muddy drying bottom of the irrigational canal, both of us moved to tears. The sentiment around the farm is one of immense gratitude. You supported our farm dreams and believed in us without any evidence we could actually deliver on our promises. You trusted us to nourish you, your families, and your community. We all participated in something greater than ourselves together this season, and the journey has been delightful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Although we may not be seeing you on the regular for a while, let’s keep in touch! We’ll continue to send updates, and soon we'll get you information about signing up for 2022 shares. Encourage anyone you think might be interested to get on our mailing list or get in touch with us. We have a million ideas about Common Name Farm’s future, and we'd like to hear yours too. We wish this farm to grow as a collaborative and multi-faceted endeavor. Please also let us know how this season went for you, things we can do better, do more of, do less of. We love to get feedback, and especially feedback about what we can do better, so please do not worry about bruising our sensitive egos! You can respond to this email or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to share that Westword published an article on the farm last week: https://www.westword.com/news/urban-farming-common-name-farm-lakewood-12539903 This feels like a good occasion to look back on where we started on the first of May:
An image of when all this was numbers, dreams and words. When we introduced ourselves to this land and in plowing it became responsible for its care. Each day and in each task we strive to be better farmers and stewards of the land. We are also striving to be more sustainable in our growing practices as in every aspect of our operation. To that end, we are proud to announce that our cooler is now solar powered! Only a week or two of running it on solar this season, but still it is an exciting step. Farmers have an intimate relationship with the sun. We all do of course but we rely so directly upon it for our livelihood that we are keenly aware of our dependence. We need enough sun to warm the soil and allow photosynthesis but not too so much as to scald the fruit or to fry new baby transplants in the field, both common occurrences here in Colorado. Indeed for anyone who moves here from either end of the country the regularity and intensity of the sun can itself be disorienting or oppressive. In a manner of speaking, our job is to harness the sun via our botanical medium, to bring the sun’s energy directly to your bodies as eaters. Plants essentially eat sunshine, and we eat plants. The fewer steps between the sun’s energy that grew the plant and your body, the more nutrition the food retains. This is one of many reasons why eating locally is so important; veggies harvested a week ago and thousands of miles away have likely already lost a good deal of their nutritive values. It’s definitely been a minute since that food last took in sunshine, a far cry from veggies harvested the same day that you pick them up and start eating them. In our accounting of the sustainability of the farm we have been keeping track of our inputs and usage of materials. At this point, at the very tail end of the season, we have used 15 gallons of diesel fuel, 3 gallons of gasoline (excluding commuting to and from the farm and deliveries of produce) and we have produced five 30-gallon trash cans of waste (mostly plastic mulch and old drip tape).
Harvest List: Pie pumpkins Butternut squash Sunflower sprouts Dried red hot peppers Onions Garlic Potatoes Beets Carrots Lettuce Purple daikon radish Cabbage Cyanotype Please note this list is dependent on weather and crop conditions, not guaranteed or comprehensive.
With this week's share we are including cyanotypes we made recently. This medium was discovered in the 1840s, and uses a combination of photosensitive chemicals that takes on a rich Prussian blue hue when exposed to the sun. Any objects with enough density which are placed upon the coated sheet of paper end up casting their negative shapes from their shadows, which remain, in striking contrast to the blue. It gained popularity with naturalists wanting to more precisely document the natural world, particularly British botanist Anna Atkins, who published three books of British algae cyanotype “photograms” (the first is considered the first photography book ever published). The cyanotype method was ultimately used for blueprints (the “blue” in blueprint) because of flawless image transfer before copy machines were a thing. We celebrated the fall and the delivery of these last crops to you by taking a few hours to indulge in printing some objects we collected from the farm.
Recipe: Farmer's Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes Ingredients: 1 cup buckwheat flour 2/3 cup almond flour OR quick oats 1-2 tbsp ground flax seed A few shakes of cinnamon Several shakes of ground ginger A generous heap of freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp baking powder ½ cup pureed fresh pumpkin (or whatever winter squash you’ve got around) 1 tsp vanilla extract 2-3 cups oat milk
bittersweet chocolate chips if desired Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients, whisking with a fork until thick and creamy. Cook and flip for a few minutes on each side over medium heat in a liberal amount of your oil of choice (this makes them slightly crispy on the outside). Spread leftover squash puree on top as “icing,” and top with maple syrup.