In May we had a hundred year flood. How unusual then, that here in August of the very same year, we had another one. It rained over 7 inches in that one day of heavy rain last week! In May we lost our carrots and peas, last week we lost our first planting of fall turnips, lettuce, kale, and radishes. The only good news, relatively speaking, is that since Jeff had just seeded those fall crops, we won’t be losing much time in getting more in the ground. Worse is the flooding of the cave.
Jeff uses the cave as a natural cooler for many crops between the weekly harvest and our CSA delivery, but it also acts as long-term storage for potatoes. The intense heat and humidity of this summer already had taken it’s toll on our potato harvest, dozens of bushels of potatoes, instead of properly curing, began to rot. Those that cured properly were already in the cave, which thanks to this latest flood, had to be cured again or they too would rot. Now it’s a waiting game to find out which process will win the day.
In the woods…
There is a parallel world to the farm taking place in the woods, only no specific farmer sets the pace. Instead, each animal, each plant, and each weather system, together in a complex symbiosis, determine the change of seasonal plants. Even now, nearing the end of their cycle, as the Spicebush berries turn from green to red, as Pawpaws and Persimmons are nearing ripeness, Tall Ironweed, Goldenrod, Ragweed, and Lobelia are just starting to bloom.
An abundance of butterflies, bees, and birds simply shift their attention from one group of plants to another. Here too, seasonal eating is part of daily life. Granted, we eat seasonally by choice and conscious effort, where there is little choice in the wild. Still, I am left to feel a kindred bond with all the creatures of the woods as the seasons begin to change. As you notice new food appearing on the harvest list, remember that this transition is occurring all around you.
In the wake of the recent rains, a world of mushrooms has emerged. Every size and color, some edible and some toxic, these fruits and the funguses they proliferate are the composters of the woods. Every process we have domesticated has its origins amongst the wild things. We would do well to remember that more often- to remember that we too are part of that world.
This Week’s Harvest: Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Peppers, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Watermelon, Basil, Parsley