Archive for July, 2011

Trips and tumbles…and thanks

July 22, 2011

Dear friends,
Over the years, I have written a number of newsletters that I chose not to send; they needed to be written but not read. Last week produced another of those self-pitying pieces. It was a hard week. Briefly: it was some 150 degrees outside; we lost eight chickens to the heat; groundhogs (or some such destructive creatures) have eaten most all of the first, biggest, most glorious heirloom tomatoes and a good number of watermelons too; corn, already pitiful, laid waste by raccoons; Clark was having a terrible time getting to and staying asleep, and thus we were all exhausted. I could go on, but those were the lowlights.
Thankfully, at the same time as the manure was hitting the fan, we had a wonderful visit from two young, prospective farmers. Starting from their home in Birmingham, Alabama, Charles and Stella had ridden their bicycles from one farm to another across the Southeast. We were the eighth and last farm on their tour. They brought with them good company, good music and good work, and helped remind me what was good about this CSA and this life, despite the frequent failures and challenges. They stayed for a week and then were pedaling off on their way home. Thanks to many of you for being hospitable to them and demonstrating what a wonderful community this is. To see more about their interesting travels, visit their website: http://farmbybike.tumblr.com/
While life at times may seem defeating, would it not be incredibly boring if one felt as if he had nothing left to learn, as if he knew every thing? We too easily write things off as simple and known. Only—at some arbitrary, unforeseen moment—the known acquires new dimensions we were not capable of seeing before. An epiphany reveals that the truth is much more complex, even beyond comprehension. Through repeated and new failures, we learn and grow and embrace our humble station.
For instance, because I have grown many plantings of squash in the past, I might come to think that I know how to grow squash. But just as soon as I say, “I know This,” This does something unprecedented. I find myself bewildered beholding squash plants that look as if I had been trying to kill them. I don’t know what is wrong. I grasp at answers as if I could reach and handle wisps of clouds high in the sky. Eventually, hopefully, a lesson is learned. And the greatest lesson that keeps being taught over and over again is that there is always more to learn.
So, as usual, we have problems aplenty on the farm. Some things will certainly be lean, if they come through at all. It seems the wildly wet Spring has had far-reaching implications. But one certain strength of this kind of farming is the wealth of diversity. While some things suffer, some inevitably do surprisingly well.
In the next couple weeks, we will finish the year’s planting. And, Mother Nature willing and the rains don’t stop, before long we will be back to chilly nights and cool weather crops. Until then, we appreciate you thinking of us during these hot and dangerous days.
A Film Worth Watching
One of our working share members, Ben Evans, is also a talented film maker. He, his wife, and a friend have produced “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” about their cross-country trip documenting the hope and peril of our planet. The Louisville Premiere is on July 28 at the Louisville Science Center. Tickets are selling out, but, as of this writing, some remain for the 9:15 PM showing. Watch the trailer and learn more about their adventure at www.yert.com.
Special Thanks
The rafters of our barn are filled with a marvelous garlic crop. Over the course of eight days, a field of some 10,000 plants migrated to the barn, bulb by bulb. Many helping hands made the work go quickly, but one particular set of hands was extraordinary. John Bruggman put in four full days of pulling, hauling and handling. We are blessed beyond words with his tireless work, positive attitude and caring friendship. If you pick up on Wednesday, he is the one there that you see most every week. Be sure to give him a big thanks for all that he means to this farm and how instrumental he is in supplying your garlic fix.
Peace,
Carden, Courtney and Clark

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