Just as we were heading to bed last Thursday, Casey and I heard one loud clap of thunder, followed quickly by pounding rain. We have metal roofs just below our window, and the sound was so loud that we really weren’t sure whether it was very large raindrops or hail. A few more flashes of lightning lit the sky, and the rain continued off and on all night and into the next morning — an inch in total by the end of the 24 hour period.
Friday morning itself was set aside for our organic inspection — our once a year visit by an inspector who sits down with us to look through our records and walk around the farm with us. The inspector who came this year has been here many times before and was actually our very first inspector way back in 2006! We’ve learned a few things since then about how to make the process go smoothly (it’s all about the organized record keeping!), so the morning was a happy one as we gathered around our kitchen table drinking hot nettle tea and listening to the continued rain.
We had to delay our field walk a bit as another brief but intense downpour rolled over the farm. But we made it out there and walked the very familiar path around the perimeter of our farm — a smaller route than just a few weeks ago before we dropped so much acreage from our direct management. If you like to know numbers, when I updated our certification map, I calculated that we dropped from 116.5 acres to 25.5 acres (a 91 acre difference!).
This week has been off and on rainy and sunny — so very springlike to us. To me, a classic spring sight on the island is sunshine lighting up vibrantly green, newly-leafed out trees against a background of dark gray rain clouds in the distance. I was struck by the contrasts in that spring sight our first year out here, and it continues to wow me with its splendor.
True to the theme of last week’s newsletter, this week has been full of dribs and drabs of useful work — more transplanting in the fields, harvest, and closing shop and arranging matters on the land we’re no longer farming (there are loose strings to tie up and information to communicate to the new farmers). Already tractors are out there on both of those pieces of land, mowing and spreading manure and preparing for what will likely be an abundant farming season for both farmers.
In the week ahead, we look forward to the start of May (and the halfway point in spring! Whoa! It’s only going to get busier around here!) and the opportunity to do work other than transplanting (now that the transplanting “window” has closed in the biodynamic calendar). On the list is mowing, mowing, weeding, and mowing. And then more weeding. And more mowing.
Enjoy this week’s vegetables!
Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla
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Any last minute orders for pork? Our remaining hogs go to the butcher next Monday. Is there anyone who was waiting to decide about ordering a half or whole animal for your freezer? Let us know this week if we should reserve one for you! The price is $5.50/lb for the hanging weight (which is the carcass before processing — our heritage hogs typically dress out at 50-65 lbs each). We pay for all the butchering costs except for making into bacon and sausages, which you would pay if you want that. Our butcher does a beautiful job with no-nitrate added “curing,” and we can have them make bacon, Bratwurst and/or hams for you if you like (again, you would pay for those costs). Email us ASAP to reserve your half or whole!
A correction: In last week’s newsletter, I invited people to the McMinnville Women’s Choir’s spring concert, but I wrote the incorrect date (which I have since corrected in the post). The concert is 7 pm, Saturday, May 7. Tickets are available at Oregon Stationers now!
Meet this week’s vegetables:
- Sugar snap peas — One of our all-time favorite spring crops has arrived! This is shaping up to be a banner snap pea year. The first picking has supremely satisfying, and the peas are super duper tasty. These are edible pod peas, which means you eat the whole thing!
- Rainbow chard — Aren’t all the different colors pretty? This chard was the unexpected hit of the CSA pick-up last week and we actually ran out! So, Casey picked more this week.
- Winter squash — Casey and I have been marveling this week at how unusual it feels to be eating zucchini, snap peas, and butternut squash all in the same meal. But we’re loving it.
- Green garlic
- Eggs — Limit half dozen/share (you are welcome to buy more eggs as well!). Rusty has begun helping us collect and wash the eggs in the mornings. It seems like an appropriate first farm chore for a six year old boy (he has lots of other household chores already).
And this week’s extra goodies from the farm:
- Eggs — $6/dozen
- Bratwurst! — Artisan-made without any added nitrates or sugars. $12/package (one lb packages).
- Pork — We have a few remaining roasts and shanks for $8/lb. More hogs heading to the butcher next week!
- Ground beef — $8/lb