Crop List: Cosmic Mix, Red Kale, Tomatoes, Maybe Shell Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash and/or Baby Carrots
Holy amazing rain. We were on a bit of an irrigation roller coaster at the end of July. The night before we left for our trip, we found out the water was being shut off before we returned. Ugh. I did not want to come back to a brown and dead garden. Then halfway through our vacation we found out we had another week of water. (giving us to August 9th) Woohooo! I was so relieved. I told Jed and he was so even keeled about the whole thing it was puzzling to me. He just laughed and said he got used to the idea of not needing to move pipe when he returned. Vacation suited him well.
Then the rain started. Big soaking downpours. Only a tiny bit of hail! The garden is now so well hydrated we have not been moving pipe. We have not heard anything about the state of our irrigation...but because of really complicated water laws, we are feeling pretty secure about the garden staying green for the duration of the summer.
I asked the crew what I should write about today. Answers were: Kids eating veggies, garlic harvest, cooking and the big picture of the farm.
How to get kids to eat veggies. Oh my. I don't have a magic answer. The closest thing I have to sorcery is butter. Cook veggies in butter. I swear it helps and kids need healthy fats to grow their brains. Yummy sauces for dipping. Hummus, yogurt dill, "the ultimate dressing", yogurt-cuke-mint. Let them free range eat. Put out a snack so they can munch and play. Let them help prepare the food. I think my kids were always more willing to eat things they helped to make. Bring them to the farm. Making the connection between food growing in the garden and then seeing it on their plate is huge. Our farm members are welcome to walk around any time. The teenage pigs are near the parking area...and will definitely provide some entertainment. If we know you are coming I can sometimes get my daughter to give you a tour. I'll even pay her to say she likes veggies!
Garlic Harvest! It's happening...happened! As I type the last two rows are being pulled. It looks large and healthy. Some of it went out in last week's share. The rest of it is now curing in our storage shed, waiting to be distributed to you in the fall or planted for next year's crop in October. I have written all about garlic's unique lifecycle on the "Garlic" page in the recipes. Check it out!!
Speaking of recipes...if you are not sure how to use a specific veggie, check out each corresponding page on our recipe link. There are also storage and cooking tips on each page.
And finally...the "big picture of the farm"? Our goal is to "Grow the best food for the People of the Tetons". Every single thing we do comes back to that little sentence. It all starts with the soil. It is our most precious resource and preserving its health is our greatest job. The soil is alive. This following fact is mind boggling:
*There are more living organisms in 1 teaspoon of healthy topsoil then there are people in the world.*
That is a lot of life to protect and preserve. There is more life below our feet then above it. It makes me want to hover over the soil in constant amazement and gratitude. All this life is literally holding us up and the irony is we are walking around on it not noticing our foundation!
Our caretaking of the soil involves many layers. We use Biodynamic preparations to enhance the microbial life in the soil. We don't use sprays that kill things. We are currently experimenting with cover crops to feed the soil and to promote diversity. The water we irrigate with is Teton snowmelt so nothing creepy is being added to the farm when we water. We strive to keep the soil "covered". We don't have large sections of unplanted garden for long. The soil needs plants to protect it and hold it in place.
The compost pile from our animals is an integral part of the farm. Our cows make manure all winter which is put into a pile in the spring. The compost pile cooks all summer long and is spread in the fall to replenish the nutrients we harvested as vegetable matter. The microbes in the living soil break down the compost further to create more humus. The compost also improves the soil structure.
We have been farming at the same location for 20 years now. In the time we have been here, a tangible difference in the soil is evident. The soil has grown darker since we started farming here. The structure is better...more aeration occurs. And honestly...the farm soil is just gorgeous. It is a rich brown and feels amazing when I hold it. The smell alone seems to nourish me. Walking barefoot in the garden (in the thistle free zones!) is one of my favorite sensations ever, I can feel the life beneath my feet, holding me up, taking care of me. I hope in return, we take care of the soil in the way it needs us too so we can continue to grow the best food possible!
Here's the big secret. September is the best month to volunteer. It is the month of some of the biggest shares. Help us wrap up the harvest and receive lots of veggies!!
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 a 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: Zucchini Cakes with Tomato Balsamic Sauce
Recipe Ideas: Carrot ginger dressing; Holly Pratt's recipe on the carrot page uses kale and summer squash (I mistakenly didn't title it); One pan summer eggs (summer squash page).
Lifeline Cheese Update: We are sad to report Lifeline has put shipping cheese on hold. They are too short-staffed and are having difficulty getting shipping supplies. When they are able to ship again, the prices will reflect the increase in shipping fees. Lifeline has been a staple in our lives for 20+ years and we are anxious for its return.
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!
Lifeline Beef Available: Ground Beef, Patties and Stew Meat
Pork Available: Grandpa's Sausage, Breakfast Sausage, Pork Chops, Shoulder Roast, Neck Bones (make the real deal Ramen!), Fat, Country Ribs, and Hock