August 9, 2012
Quote of the Week:
“As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.”
Weekly Reflection from Steffi
Where does the food I eat come from? This simple question spurred a learning journey that has led to my current location here at Earth Dance Farm.
Reading fascinating food-realated books (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen among them) and having great food-related conversations with similarly interested people throughout these past couple years had given me a lot of information, but I had not yet “gotten my hands dirty,” so to speak. Hence, I decided it was time to do just that.
Now, almost five months since first making my way down to Earth Dance in mid-March, I feel quite at home in the middle of all the planting, harvesting, and of course, the ever necessary weeding tasks that fill our days and weeks on the farm.
Two of the most enjoyable things about being at Earth Dance are, quite naturally, the food and the people. Coming to our communal dinner at the end of a long day is a great way to connect and unwind; not to mention that the food is delicious. Vegetables have never tasted better than when they have just been plucked out of the field and prepared for the table. Yet, along with this delightfully direct process is the larger overall concept of “eating with the seasons” that makes eating on the farm truly fantastic.
Eating with the seasons means that one eats a lot of whatever happens to be in season at the moment. Every few weeks new vegetables appear on the dinner table, phasing in and out with the changing seasons. This allows us to truly appreciate the here and now; we enjoyed the spinach and asparagus in the spring that gave way to romaine, raspberries, kale, and Swiss chard in early summer. Those are now being replaced by the later summer crops such as beets, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. Soon enough, these will also give way to the fall crops, slowly moving closer to the end of the growing season for another year.
Eating with the seasons also means that there is a celebration every time a new vegetable becomes harvestable. The other interns and I cheered when we recently discovered the first ripe cherry tomatoes out in the lower fields, momentarily stopping our weeding to savor the goodness that sun, rain, and soil had brought us. Bringing the first cucumbers and summer squash down for dinner from the upper fields merited more cheers and silly grins as we realized we were finally beginning to overcome the setbacks from the heat and the drought to enter the bountiful time of summer. The celebrations are numerous, and they bring an element of joy and reflection into the long days of hard work and months of waiting and cultivation.
Overall, eating with the seasons brings us closer and connects us to the earth in ways that are nearly unfathomable to many people in our country today. There is joy and celebration, long days and sore muscles, unpredictable weather and changing seasons, and occasional frustration and stress; but, at the end of the day, we are surrounded by delicious, natural food, grown through our collected effort and energy. Considering everything I have learned at Earth Dance Farm thus far, “getting my hands dirty” has certainly been worth the effort. And there is so much more to come!
Farmer Notes on this week’s delivery:
- Lots of cucumbers and squash – the squash pizza is excellent
- Potatoes are cascade. They will be larger in another month
- About half of you received tomatoes. These will be a staple in the next 5 boxes or so. They come as sungold cherry, slicers, and Roma
- Melons, eggplant, and sweet corn are on for next week
- Garlic and potatoes are straight from the field and not cured
- There was a tinge of September in the air this week
- Family camping weekend is cancelled due to lack of interest
- Wash all of your produce before eating
- Mark your calendar for our harvest party Sat. Oct. 6th