THE HARVEST: Easter-egg Radishes, Hakurei Turnips, Bok Choi, Spinach, Dino Kale, Siberian Kale, Collards, Chard, Broccoli, Lettuces (Butter heads, Little Gems, Oakleaf, Romaine), Arugula, Mustard Salad Greens, Early Girl Tomatoes (Limited)
IN THE GARDEN: Savory, Chives, Parsley, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Peppermint, Sorrel, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Bachelor's Buttons, Zinnias, Calendula and Snapdragons
We’re so excited to meet each of you and have you all on the farm for the first time! We’ve been in high-gear trying to whip this old mill site into shape and keep the plants happy. The produce is starting to kick in out here. We need help eating it! Kayta and I have started to eat the turnip/radish/tomato/cheese bread lunch snack… a Hallmark of summer for us. It’s going to be an abundant season.
While we savor these first early tomato slices (which you all will enjoy this week) it triggers memories the sweet abundance of summer here in Sonoma County. But it also makes us think of limits. The share this week be limited to 1 or 2 tomatoes per share this week — as our first succession of tomatoes, laden with green orbs, begin to ripen, it can be painfully slow watching them turn from green to red. “When will I be able to eat you, tomato!” But then those first few tomatoes are so much sweeter.
This simple tomato experience made me think of the CSA model of agriculture. It occurs to me that each of us could go to Safeway or Whole Foods 9am to 9pm to buy a sack of tomatoes from the Central Valley or Mexico at most times of year. Limitations and restraint are not a concept our culture celebrates.
The tomato plants you will be eating the fruit of this week were seeded just after New Years. I remember because Kayta and I did a considerable amount of head-scratching about whether or not the vulnerable seedlings would be okay without our watchful eye during the coldest part of the winter while we went away for 4 days for an annual farming conference. We went for it and they did splendidly. These guys were fighters. Under cover in Kayta’s greenhouse at Russian River Vineyards those little guys powered through cloudy day after cloudy day, and storm after storm. When we finally got them in the ground here at Green Valley in a refurbished greenhouse surrounded by the old Mill road base, they were faced with one of the wettest Marches in memory and an April dowsing on top of it. I was sure they were going to kick the bucket as I gazed helplessly at their roots saturated with water for days on end. But they persisted.
And then the sun started to shine. And you know what happens when tomatoes get some good sun. The rest was been history.
Thanks to the strengths of these plants, we have some of the earliest heirlooms in the county. We hope this story of the tomatoes prevailing over a wet, wet winter adds a touch of sweetness to your first tomato from the farm. We can’t wait to share many more stories and sweet bites with you in the months ahead.
Thanks for joining us on the journey.
See you on the farm.