This Week's Share
The melons are here , the melons are here! Our melons are just starting to ripen up! This week we'll have watermelons, an Asian melon called "sun jewel" and some gala melons called "diplomat". Our watermelons are red and yellow and they are wonderful, sweet and crisp. The sun jewels are a melon new to us. They are oblong and yellow and crisp when ripe. The green-fleshed diplomat melons are a cross between a canteloupe and a honeydew and taste about that way.
Our canteloupes are in the field and are taking their sweet time to ripen, but they're coming.
1/2 c sugar
1 c water
4 c melon
2 tbs lime juice pinch of salt
The Art of the Mistake
After what feels like an eternity, July has finally come and gone and we can now embrace August with open arms. This past week has given us unseasonably cool temperatures and our first real rain in weeks. This weather is fantastic planting weather, and has made getting the rest of our broccoli and cauliflower in the ground much easier. We can all rest a bit easier knowing we only have 3,000 row feet of broccoli and cauliflower still to plant this season. This may seem like a lot, but when you consider that we have planted over 24,000 row feet of fall brassicas in the past month, 3,000 feet seems like a cake walk. The irrigation pump gets to take a week off and we get to concentrate on other things. The peppers have started coming in droves and we are even starting to see our first red peppers out in the field! In contrast to their very productive cousins the eggplant continues to putter along at a less than optimal level. The plants are healthy, but earlier stress had caused these lovely ladies to drop their blossoms earlier this month leaving us with uneven ripening. We are still waiting for the eggplant to drown us with tons and tons of eggplants, but this hasn't been the case yet. This past week we also harvested the rest of those delicious white onions you have all been enjoying in your share. These 'fresh' onions differ from 'storage' onions because they need to be refrigerated in order for them to store. Right now we have about 2,000 lbs of beautiful onions storing quite nicely in our cooler.
As the season continues to roll along we are constantly being presented with new challenges. Sometimes we are able to tackle these challenges with the effortless elegance of olympic gymnasts. Other times, these challenges catch us by surprise and we falter. We make mistakes all the time on the farm, everyday really. The reality of trying new things is that you are going to make mistakes, we can't be perfect all the time. One of the biggest challenges for us in our first season has been to grow comfortable with our own mistakes. Kerry and I subscribe to a draft-power focused, agricultural quarterly called the 'Small Farmer's Journal'. This publication is printed on brown paper and is all about farming with horses, small farms, and self sufficiency. The other day I was reading through the latest issue when I came across this great quote on making mistakes that really sums it up for us:
"Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they're more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowing. We have a saying: 'Move fast and break things,' The idea is that if you never break anything, you're probably not moving fast enough."
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Yeah that's right….'Mark Zuckerberg' the 'Mark Zuckerberg'. Now I was as shocked as anyone to see the CEO of Facebook appear in my agrarian periodical but I believe that there is a lot of truth to what he is saying here. Our success is predicated on our willingness to move out of our comfort zones. While I wish that we just knew how to do everything that we need to be able to do, I am learning more and more that sometimes the best way to learn how to fix something is to break it. The best way to learn how much water to give a crop is to give it too little water, and than too give it too much water. After that, you have a pretty darn good idea of exactly how much water to give it. There are no short cuts here. The only way out is through, and it doesn't matter how many mistakes we make or how many times we fall down, as long as we always get back one more time we will be on our feet.
On Behalf of your farm crew,
Tana, Kara and Larry
Max and Kerry