Updated: Nov 16, 2021
This time of year we are constantly checking the forecast for when first frost might hit. An unforecasted light frost showed up on the morning of the equinox. A handful of crops, including cucumbers and melons, got zapped wholly, and patches of others, like a twenty foot sections of summer squash only on the southern side, while the large majority of crops, including usually tender crops like basil, were wholly unscathed. Amazing to see such distinct microclimates within this microclimate of the farm. Getting to know the land you're growing on feels the same as getting to know a new friend: learning their quirks and charms, getting frustrated by those very quirks you once found so charming, arguing, hugging, talking it out, pledging to remain besties, going out dancing, texting late into the night, well past a reasonable bedtime. Ultimately she retains some amount of mystery and unpredictability, as with any human. The shares will start to reflect these gradual changes away from summer. Summer squash has bid us adieu for the season, but tomatoes and peppers are still going, though at a reduced pace. Cool season greens and roots and storage crops will become the focus. There is something in a first frost to be relished by a farmer. Since we do not toil in a space age plastic bubble heated by fossil fuels but grow in the earth warmed by the sun, we of necessity must be comfortable with (and comforted by) the cycles of seasons, and the relinquishing of control back to the elements can feel liberating. We were asked to speak as experts at a local art gallery on the very evening of the Equinox. Coming on the heels of first frost it was a good opportunity to think about why we farm the way we do. From the beginning of this farm, and embedded in the name is the belief in a collaboration, the rejection of individual mastery and control, expertise and specialization. We are collaborators, not just with each other, but with the earth and the climate, the crops and plants which grow alongside the crops. We acknowledge the complexity of food production but not in the way the agricultural industry would have you believe. Even as we make a profession of growing food we are against the professionalization of food production. We are delighted by our position as but one of the many small farms in the area, and we are much closer kin to all you backyard gardeners than industrial ag. Any farmer that tells you how much THEY produced is deluded or disingenuous. After all, a farmer can do nothing but make sure the crops are comfortable - with enough water, space and sunlight; and pull or cut the crop at a good time. We are literally the least important ingredient in the production of vegetables. On the occasion of farm kid Leveret's fourth birthday we remember that farming and parenting are both mostly listening, and making sure we all drink enough water.
Harvest List: Purple bok choy Arugula Watermelon radish Delicata squash Peppers Tomatoes Dancing gourds Please note this list is dependent on weather and crop conditions, not guaranteed or comprehensive.
Reminder: if you would like a consultation with Two Wizards Consultation on Monday October 4 (or would like to arrange another time) email Whit at whit [dot] griffin [at] protonmail [dot] com to schedule. They write: "We've experimented with making edibles, capsules and infusions. Most recently we've been making tinctures, which we are really excited about. We make both strain-specific tinctures as well as blends. All of our tinctures use MCT oil as their base. The idea is to meet with others who are interested in using cannabis in an intentional way to further their own meditation practices and inner journeying. We could share our experience and knowledge and provide samples of the tinctures we've been making and using for our own inner work. All consultations would be informal, relaxed, supportive and nonjudgmental. For those interested, oracle decks would be used to foster a dialog about possible avenues of exploration. Additionally, information would be provided about helpful texts, music recommendations and navigational tools that we've learned through our own engagement with these elixirs."
Recipe: Dancing (or Spinning) Gourd Included in your share this week is a Tennessee dancing gourd (AKA spinning gourd). They are inedible, and you'd probably need to run them through a bandsaw to get them open. They are for entertainment purposes only. The origins of this tiny, whimsical gourd are in southern Tennessee, where farm kids would pocket them and play with them on their family farms or together at school in the earlier parts of the 20th century. At one point, it’s said that only three specimens remained, and the delightful tops almost went extinct but for a fellow named Junior Gordon who is credited with growing them out to facilitate a comeback of his favorite childhood toy. The best ones have a straight top portion for ideal spinning, and while they do spin green, they’ll do it even more readily once they dry and hollow out.
Ingredients: gourd wrist relatively smooth surface Directions: Do not preheat the oven. Do not marinate anything. Take uncooked gourd by the thin end with first two fingers. Snap your fingers. Do not do any dishes.