Me? Iâ€™m doing fine. There alas has been no sign of Theo the cat, although I have heard he may be over in Falling Water, although I have yet to see his pretty face.
Can you believe that itâ€™s the last week!? Me neither, but time keeps rolling along and us with it. The farm is looking lovely these days, and there is quite a number of vegetables out in the fields even though most of the markets and the CSA are ending. 🙁 We will be selling at the Morgantown Market until the 2nd week of November, and god willing the indoor markets in Morgantown and Bridgeport through the winter. We will have veggies from the field as long as the weather holds up, meat chickens, eggs, honey, microgreens, as well as hopefully salad greens from our new high tunnel!
Pick ups will be at their regularly scheduled times and places unless you are notified otherwise.
This weekâ€™s picklist-
Salad Mix or Arugula
Kale or Swiss Chard
Radishes or Salad Turnips- the greens on the salad turnips are great cooked.
Carrots- These are a little babyish and sweet as can be.
Zucchini- Just a little bit.
Sweet Potatoes- They are small, but look like they taste great (I havenâ€™t gotten to try them yet), they can be stored for quite a while as you would potatoes.
The State of the Farm
Itâ€™s funny when I think about where the farm was last spring- we were transitioning to Ridgeway Farm, which was just a field, partially plowed in the fall, and a dream. The other site was left in disarray after my accident and I wasnâ€™t even sure that I could farm again with only one good hand. Beyond my physical disability, the struggle to recover had left me empty and depressed. Early that spring I got back on the tractor, which had almost killed me, and finished mowing and plowing the field. My father and I began by putting up a small seed starting greenhouse and running water out to the field. That was the beginning. Now, two years after the accident, the farm is running better than ever and the future looks full of possiblility and more secure.
This year has been a challenge, although every year seems to be these days. Its gone from cold to hot overnight, from endless rain to drought the same. There have been challenges with plantings missed for lack of prepared ground (due to all of the rain) workers burning out from the exhausting work, marauding deer eating whatever they pleased, and lots of insect pests. Through all of that the farm has survived, and now when I look out across the fields it looks better than I had imagined it could when I got back on the tractor and began to plow.
This season we have served you the CSAâ€™s 43 members with a variety of veggies that seem too numerous to count, there have been times when the harvests have been overwhelming, when there wasnâ€™t enough hours in the day to pick everything. At other times it seemed as if the crops wouldnâ€™t grow fast enough, or the ground lay fallow in waiting a dry spell long enough to work the soil, or that they suffered from lack of rain, but through it all the earth has provided. We have also sold at 4 local farmers markets, which has allowed us to share our food with more folks and help to make the farm more financially sustainable.
This year we have undertaken countless projects which have improved the farm and expanded our offerings- from more bee hives, to egg layers, to meat birds. In addition we have fenced in the fieldâ€™s 4 acres and I no longer have a sleepless night worrying about the threat of deer. Recently a 30â€™x96â€™ high tunnel has been completed on the site, which will allow us to grow greens through the winter as well as produce more and better summer fruits. In addition we are also completing a 20â€™x40â€™ seed starting greenhouse which will allow us to produce better plants and give us better protection from the weather as well as pests. All of this bodes well for a bright future for Harmony Farm.
At the farm recently a former worker stopped by- Eva, who volunteered 2 years ago and worked last season as well. This year she is managing a farm in New York state. Somehow it makes me feel like a proud mother whose child has begun to carry on the Farmâ€™s legacy. This year the farm has had a lot of helping hands- at least fifteen in all, and my hope is that at least one of them will decide to make a go of farming too.
All of this- the farm, the people, the food, would not be possible without you. It is the CSA which sustains us, that gives purpose to our efforts. You have put a lot of faith and trust into us to provide you with high quality, nutritious, and delicious foods that are safe for you and for the environment. Iâ€™m reminded of this when I see a child munching on a veggie, or a monarch butterfly taking its first flight and in those moments the mad pace of day to day farm life parts in front of me and I understand that this is why we do what we do.
Next year there will be some changes to the CSA and to the farm, many of which are only now thoughts in the back of my head. As with every year we will strive to make our offerings to you more in sync with your tastes, which offer more variety and abundance, as well as greater quality and nutrition. We are also considering ways that we can share our foods with more folks and to make it more affordable to those who are not so fortunate, as well as to better educate the next generation of farmers, who come to us with hope and a desire to serve not only themselves but our community and to make the world a better place one vegetable at a time.
With all my gratitude,