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A Farmer’s Pleasures

29 July

It’s a dance – I check on crops daily, sometimes even more often, to assess both quality and quantity to project and spread the harvest for our weekly commitments to the CSA, farmer’s markets, and wholesale accounts.  A field-walk of course involves a lot of sampling, and right now there is a lot to snack on.

Lower Fields Summer 7.2013

The fruit are always tempting and the cane berries, i.e. blackberries and raspberries, are irresistible. My hand can’t be stopped when a shiny blackberry or red raspberry is hanging eyelevel, ready for “the picking”.

Raspberries 7.2013

The same goes for the cherry tomatoes, the plums, the apples (just tasted the first Pink Pearl and Mc Intosh off of our recently grafted trees).

Cherry Tomatoes 7.2013

The red spots among the lush green pepper plants, invite me to bite into a ‘Corno de Toro’ or ‘Round of Hungary. ’ Their crunchy, flavor packed, slightly sweet thick flesh is a real treat. They are the next peppers you’ll be getting in the boxes.

Corno de Toro Pepper

Roasted, fresh, sauted, in soups, pickled, you name it, there are so many ways to cook with these exquisite heirlooms.  Who says we can’t all be cooks? Just let your senses – your eyes, smell, taste, touch – be your guide.

 Tom in Field

I can’t help myself but I have to always dig, and when I am next to a carrot or radish patch I like to look for these treasures. Snacking on a freshly pulled carrot or radish is never disappointing.

Fresh Carrot Bunch

At this time of year a field-walk will leave me stuffed with no need to go home to prepare lunch. And no matter how much I have field snacked, there is always room for another juicy strawberry!!

 Tom with Strawberry

Plants will often stop me in my tracks. While rushing from one thing to the next I had to stop and admire the stand of sunflowers on the edge of one of our fields between the apple orchard and the cherry tomatoes. Started as small seeds in the greenhouse during the cool days of April they are now towering over my head.

LateAfternoonSunflowers

As I contemplate the beauty of a radiant giant sunflower with a honeybee heavy with pollen resting on it, I am reminded that in nature we are constantly surrounded by beauty, and it just takes a little slowing down to be touched by it.

 Bee on Sunflower