Full Shares: Salad Mix, Arugula, Beets, Spring Onions, Carrots, Kale, Parsley, and Head Lettuce. Maybe some broccoli?

Partial Shares: Salad Mix, Broccolini, Carrots, Rainbow Chard, and Parsley

Hello CSA members!

Summer is kicking into full swing! Both the weeds and the tourists have reached epic proportions. Luckily, I have some ability to influence at least one of those things. The past few weeks have been a lot of weeding for our hearty crew, and they have really done a great job at moving through the fields keeping the weeds in check. Looking out over 13 acres of vegetable beds is a daunting experience, but all you can do is start at the beginning, stay focused, work hard…..and results happen. Weeding is also the time of the season where we are all in one place at one time, and so there is a lot of conversation happening. Lots of discussion about the state of the world, issues that people see or face, approaches to keeping a positive perspective (or not). As well as just a bunch of silly conversation to boot.

Every farm season is different for one reason or another. I think what is standing out this year is post-pandemic life in Montana. It seems that all the pent up anxiety and restriction is releasing itself in one big purge. Instead of the pandemic leading us to rethink health and wellness, it’s instead caused many to crave fun and enjoyment. It appears many people are trying to work less, and spend more time recreating, vacationing, and eating out and drinking at bars/restaurants in record numbers. Is this a temporary response after the pandemic, or is this the new trajectory of life in America? I often think back to life after World War II, when the “Greatest Generation” was building much of our society as we know it. And I ponder how they would have defined the American Dream at that time? And then I wonder how people today, post – pandemic, would define the American Dream? I think perspectives have shifted a lot in just the last 75 years, and that the answers would be very different. Back then, there seemed to be an emphasis on working together for the common good in a post-war world. Today, we live in the age of the individual, where much of our behavior is focused on self. It’s an interesting time, and it will be interesting to see where it all leads.

I worked the Downtown Whitefish Farmers Market last night, and it felt very different. Town is BUSY. Depot park had more people sitting in the grass than I’ve ever seen before at any market. Yet sales were slow (except for the carrots). What used to be a farmers market where our community would come to shop, it now seems many “locals” no longer are willing to go downtown for such a busy event. And while tourists love to look at the market stand and talk vegetables, many of them are not in the market for fresh produce, as they are eating out most meals. It seems this will be a year in which food trucks and art vendors will have great success at area markets like Whitefish, but perhaps not so great for farmers? And that’s ok….it is just interesting to see the change. As a farm, we have always talked about feeding our community…but when you are standing at a market feeling like a tourist attraction, it begs the question of “why am I here, and is this the best use of my time?”, and “who is my community?”. And how do we process that information in a healthy way and change what we do, rather than fall into the trap of complaining or being a curmudgeonly local? The idea behind The Farmers’ Stand was to better cater to our local community by making our food more accessible and avoiding the business that surrounds downtown, so perhaps that proves to be part of the solution. Or, maybe in the future we re-focus our efforts on CSA shares, rather than “farmers” markets?

Like I said, plenty of things to contemplate out in the weeds these days! Production on the farm is picking up. The broccolini and Purple Sprouting Broccoli are in peak season, and the first broccoli crowns are only a few days away from being ready.

The weather has been so warm, that it feels like we should be further along in the season, but it’s still early in the growing season. Crops require a certain number of days to mature, and there is no getting around that….everything in its time. You will find that the carrots are back in the shares this week, as well as a sprig of parsley.

It looks like things are really going to heat up next week! We’ll see you at CSA distribution.