Crop List: Magenta Head Lettuce, Collards, Cilantro, Summer Squash, Bok Choy, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Radish, Sunflowers and maybe Beans
Garlic update! We got the final load into the shed to dry on Monday afternoon (8/21). The crew has been pulling, shaking soil off, piling, moving piles to the trailer and moving garlic into the shed with every rare "spare" moment since last week. Garlic is a crop that involves more handling then most crops. But 2023's harvest is in the books! Thanks Crew!!
Way back in Share #3's newsletter I wrote a bit about nutrients in the soil and how most farmland is depleted in the minerals we need to thrive. I wrote about what we are doing to take care of our soil and boost the nutrient content through cover crops, rotational grazing and rest periods. These are all incredibly important but something else is happening too!
Our cows are also rebalancing the soil's mineral content. We built them a free choice mineral feeder. It is a long trough built from wood that has 12 small cubbies in it. We put a different mineral in each one. The cows lick the one they want whenever the feeling strikes them. Animals tend to naturally eat what they need to be healthy when healthy choices are in front of them. Whatever the grasses growing at the farm are not providing mineral wise, they are able to add to their diet as they choose from our mineral feeder.
It is fascinating to watch the herd and the mineral cravings ebb and flow. They crave different minerals in the winter then in the summer. They won't touch one for a while, and then it is gone! We have had soil tests over the years and know we are deficient in Sulfur. The cows love the sulfur in the free choice feeder and it one of the ones we need to refill on a most regular basis.
As they digest these minerals they are deficient in, they are walking around and, um, pooping. Traces of the minerals our soils are depleted in are being added as needed by the cows. The cows leave deposits the plants can readily take up. This of course is all taking place in the pastures during the summer. Our pastures are rotated with our gardens every 5 years or so. In the winter the cows are in the area by the sheds. (They could leave for snow covered pasture, but cows don't like post holing through the snow and stay hunkered down.) We scrape up the cow yard every spring and turn the manure into compost. This compost is then spread all over the garden. Re-mineralizing the soil with exactly what it needs as decided by the cows intuition.
Biodynamic Agriculture seeks to heal the Earth. This is one of the goals of that drew Jed and I to farming. It felt like a way to make things better. We are doing what we can to constantly improve the soil. Improved soil, means healthier plants. Healthier plants mean more nutrient dense produce. More nutrient dense produce means healthier you. Healthier you means you will have more stamina to also make the world a better place.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Biodynamic Agriculture said “So long as one feeds on foods from unhealthy soil, the spirit will lack the stamina to free itself from the prison of the body.”
Volunteer Special! Have you wanted to try a day on the farm, but can't commit to one day a week? Let us know if you want to work for one morning. 7am-12:15. Monday-Thursday. We'll feed you lunch and give you a half share. You'll get to see where your veggies come from and what it takes to get them on the truck for share distribution. Please send me an email so we can plan for extra hands.
Volunteer-If you (or someone you know!) is curious about high altitude gardening becoming a garden helper may be just right. We are only asking folks to commit to 1 morning a week for one month, that's 20-25 hours for one month! It feels really good to have volunteers back on the farm, we missed them!! Lunch and veggies are provided! Follow the link below to check it out!
Lunch this Week: Burritos with cooked squash and Idaho Salsa (Cucumber page); Summer Sauté' over pasta
Recipe Ideas: Summer Squash Boats, Greek Stewed Zucchini, and Speedy Tomato-Cilantro Sauce
The coolers at your site are stocked with a selection of the beef and pork listed below. If you know you want something, please email me and I will make sure it is in the cooler, reserved for you. I don't send every cut every week, they simply won't all fit!
Beef Available: Ground Beef
Pork Available: Grandpa's Sausage, Breakfast Sausage, Pork Chops, Shoulder Roast, Spare Ribs, Neck Bones (make the real deal Ramen!) and Fat
WASH YOUR VEGGIES!!
Bring Bags to pick-ups!
If you can't make it to pick up your veggies, send a friend!
Missed shares are forfeited for the week.
Members get 10% off at the Farmer's Markets!
The Driggs Market: Fridays 9-1
JH Farmer's Market: Saturdays 8-12
The People's Market: Wednesdays 4-7
Questions? Comments? Recipes to share? firstname.lastname@example.org