We often wax philosophically in these logs -- diving into the heart and mind of farming here in Green Valley. This week we thought we'd go strictly practical, which might possibly be the most philosophical thing.
Have you ever wondered what a week in the life of Green Valley Community Farm is like? Have you ever pondered what your famers eat for 2nd breakfast? Wonder no more...
A week in the life during harvest season on the farm is very rhythmic. The week (and days) are dictated by the harvest and have a very predictable shape. (During the shoulder seasons here, early Spring and Winter, before harvest starts, the weeks are much more random as they are defined by special projects and the project of preparing for or breaking down the seasonal infrastructure in the fields.) But harvest season has its own clock.
Thursdays: Because our CSA week begins on Saturday, Thursdays really feel like the start of the week around here. The day begins just like any other: Kayta and David eat their cereal (with Bramble Tail milk of course) and make their 2nd breakfast to-go: Usually a protein rich wrap or toast (with Gaby's break of course) and Aubrie's cheese, Temra's eggs, and veggies and greens from the farm. Kayta heads off to her day job, managing the farm at Russian River Vineyards, where she works with Kate. Anna rolls in here around 7:30, flushes the water filters, opens the greenhouses, and meets David at the barn. We turn their Walkie Talkies on and the day begins! Anna usually begins harvesting the "hot-crops" Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. while David helps or is on the tractor prepping beds for the following week's transplanting. In the evening, Kayta and David walk the farm, look at each row, and design the share for the week ahead based on what is ready to harvest. The day ends with a big inventory and clean out of the cooler, a big bin washing, and the truck is loaded for the big day...
Fridays: Friday morning is our biggest harvest day. In high summer we start harvesting at 6:30 am for both CSA pickup on Saturday and the Occidental Farmer's Market, our only off-farm market. As the sun breaks the horizon, we each break off down the rows solo, harvesting crops that we've randomly specialized in this season: Kayta on loose greens; Anna on lettuces and kales; David on broccoli and cabbages. We meet up to bunch beets, carrots, and other roots together. The music is playing and it's festive. We break for coffee and eat 2nd breakfast off the tailgate of the truck around 9am. Their is much laughter and conversation over the rows as the harvest knives zing and twist ties twist. There is a certain satisfaction seeing the bins pile up in the shade of the Tacoma. When all the crops are checked off, we drive the truck back to the wash station. Kayta and Anna wash busily while David breaks away to water the farm and greenhouses, cook lunch, sort tomatoes, and prep the truck for Farmer's Market. 2:00 is curtain call, we load the truck chalk-full and Kayta heads off to slang vegetables at the Occidental Farmer's market! David stays homeside to keep the farm watered, clean the barn for CSA pick-up in the morning, and to write this very newsletter. Kayta returns around 9pm and we eat Lata's Indian Food and play with Bilbo the farm cat who missed us all day.
Saturdays: Saturday is a special day -- the rollout of a new CSA week! Kayta and David arrive at the barn and start laying out the week's harvest. It is so satisfying to see the produce all washed and on the table and to socialize with our members on Saturdays. We usually take it relatively easy that day; Kayta at the house or doing errands, and David making sure the harvest bins are full and abundant. Saturday evening we chill and share stories of CSA pick-up antics.
Sunday: Kayta spends Sunday tending her beautiful farm at Russian River Vineyards while David is off duty, puttering around the homestead, playing with Bilbo the cat, and keeping the farm watered.Monday: Monday is David's solo day on the farm as Kayta is making magic again at Russian River Vineyards. David starts the day with the daily ritual of cleaning of the irrigation filters and then does any errands that need doing (Harmony Farm Supply, bank, hardware store, etc.) and field work (clearing out harvested beds, fixing or tinkering with the irrigation system, doing any final bed prep for transplanting). In the evening Kayta does our greenhouse seeding for the week and preps bins and the truck for Tuesday morning harvest. We do the nightly irrigation filter cleaning and head home to dream of big broccoli heads.
Tuesday: Tuesday is our other big festive harvest morning. Because we don't have a Farmer's Market to harvest for, we harvest everything for Tuesday's CSA pickup that morning. Hopefully we remembered to download some new music for the boombox. We harvest until 10:30 am and then Kayta and Anna handle washing and CSA set-up. Anna usually takes over CSA once it is set-up while Kayta and David work the garden or fields. Sometimes Kate is with us on Tuesdays. We get another boost on Tuesdays chatting with CSA members and seeing you all interact with the farm. Kayta and David wrap up pick-up at 6pm and head in for a late dinner where we share stories of member antics and conversations.
Wednesday: Wednesday is our biggest baddest field work day during harvest season. Lately, Kate has been with us all day and Kayta joins us just for the morning before heading to Russian River Vineyards. In the morning we are usually joined by a few volunteers for Weeding Wednesday. The farm crew is at its largest. We talk and laugh and kill weeds in the garden or on the farm. Once the volunteers leave, Kate, David and Anna focus on the week's big effort. Last week it was harvesting half the winter squash. This week is was harvesting storage onions. Earlier in the season it is usually a big planting. David usually seeds mustards, arugula, and other greens on this day. Anna and Kate head home around 5:30 just as Kayta is coming home. Kayta and David have a quiet moment looking out at the fields and anticipating the harvest week ahead. We are grateful. As the sun sets. We roll down the greenhouse sides, close the cold frame, close the gates, clean the filters and head home, where Bilbo greets us on the threshold.
A new week begins...
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Hope to see you at the potato harvest tomorrow morning!
David and Kayta