A New Season Approaches

It is that time of year again, when the corn is mowed down, turned into the soil and in its place beets, carrots, turnips, raab, broccoli, the winter bounty is planted. It’s hard to believe with 100+ degree heat that in a few months, winter crops will bask in a cool breeze and we will be sick of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers… Growing vegetables has always seemed somewhat backwards to me. You rarely get to settle on a season and the crops on your farm, you are always looking forward, anticipating what you will  want and need in the coming months. But without an eye for the future, we would be stuck in December without a head of broccoli and come spring, there would no spring onions.

We now have a mountain of compost sitting in the field, slowly but surely, we will load wheelbarrows full of dark brown goodness and spread it in our fields. The ground is hard and dry from the heat and lack of water. Our soil has a fair amount of clay, which makes it sticky in the winter and hard as rock in the summer. We use our shank to dig into the ground and break up the crusted top and hardpan. The rototiller fluffs the soil, for ease of planting and root growth. There is a rhythm to soil preparation that comes with repeating the same task bed after bed.

Although we are planting for the fall and early winter, the joy of living in the Sacramento Valley and particular in our distinct microclimate, is that come November, we will still have ripe tomatoes on the vine and peppers in the field.

Northwest Adventures

I just got back from a 10-day adventure in the Northwest in honor of my sisters wedding. My fiance and I drove from the hot Sacramento Valley into the hills and mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon, and slipped into the cool, foggy Northwest. I love hot, dry weather. Being in the Northwest reminded me of winter, damp, cool and dark. But I must admit, it was wonderful to eat handfuls of raspberries, salmon berries and gooseberries, none of which grow well in Davis. With that said, I could not be happier to be back in the hot and dry desert, where melons ripen before September and tomatoes are sweet and tangy.

  Ruby Queen Corn

It is amazing how quickly things change on the farm, everything is growing, growing, growing! In only 10 days all of the corn was picked and sold. Luckily, I was able to scavenge some Ruby Queen Sweet Corn, a variety I was looking forward to. Before I left, I was not sure our tomatoes would ever ripen, yet this past weekend we were able to pick baskets full of red, orange, pink and purple cherry tomatoes. The trees of course are dripping with fruit, white and yellow nectarines, peaches and apricots. The bounty is still in full swing!

I am lucky to be part of a farm partnership that allows its partners to run off in the middle of the summer. In most other farming situations, I would not have been to leave the farm for 10 days at such a busy time of the season. Partnerships allow for flexibility, which lets farmers not only fulfill their responsibilities to the farm but  also to their family and friends. Thank you Marisa, Aubrey and Emma for letting me be part of my sister’s wedding extravaganza!



Peach/Nectarine Salsa
Adapted from Tom’s Kitchen (http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/07/toms-kitchen-grilled-pork-tacos-spicy-gazpacho)

4 ripe peaches/nectarines (or apricots…..)
1 small clove of garlic
1-2 fresh hot chile peppers, such as serranos
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cilantro (optional)

Chop all ingredients and mix in a bowl. Eat with chips, white fish, chicken, tacos, etc….