Full Shares: Salad Mix, Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Basil, Garlic Scapes, zucchini/yellow squash, and Basil

Partial Shares: Salad Mix, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Garlic Scapes, zucchini and Basil

Hello CSA members!

It’s week 10…the halfway point of the CSA season! With the long, hot days this summer, photosynthesis is at it’s peak and productivity on the farm is crazy. The fields are full of life and food, to a staggering degree, and it’s a far cry from just a few months ago. Your farm share this week is ready made for getting the grill out during these hot days. Grilled zucchini, cauliflower, garlic scapes, kohlrabi….yum! And a salad of course πŸ™‚

Sunrise on the farm…gotta get up early for harvest to beat the heat these days!!

Yesterday, Anna, Luke and I spent 4 1/2 half hours picking cauliflower heads (400+). For some insight on where one’s mind goes during a task like that, take a journey with me as I pondered this list of seemingly disparate facts:

The overnight low temperature in Death Valley was 107 degrees, setting a new record.

The west is in a drought, and there is not enough water for farmers and their crops in Oregon, California, and elsewhere.

Town seems to be bursting at the seams with traffic and people.

While most people abhor the idea of animal feedlots and buildings crammed with livestock, I read the other day that an estimated 99% of the meat, dairy, and eggs that Americans buy at the grocery store come from CAFO’s (Confined Animal Feeding Operations)

In 1950, 5% of adults had a chronic disease. In 2020, 60% of adults have a chronic disease. And the percentage is anticipated to stay on that trajectory. And child autism rates, and adult cancer rates follow a similar course.

What is the commonality that I see in all these observations? The idea of limits. Do limits exist? Given that we live as part of a natural system on a finite planet, the answer is “Yes”. However, maybe that’s the wrong focus. It’s not that limits exist that is important, it’s the idea of what happens to our quality of life as we approach limits? I can tell you from experience that picking cauliflower for 4 and half hours starts to lose its enjoyment (just slightly, though). And that “going to town” or the Glacier National Park also starts to lose its enjoyment. And that living in intense heat starts to lose its enjoyment. And dealing with health issues is the same. Are we spoiled and simply whining? Yes, to some degree, I suppose. After all, many people adapt and live in far more challenging conditions. But, I would also ask if there is a true decrease in our happiness and quality of life as well. I think the answer is yes. Should our happiness and quality of life ignore the external world and come solely from inside our hearts and minds? Absolutely, but good luck with that one πŸ™‚ But the most important one on that list, our physical and nutritional health, is not a matter of opinion or perspective. Poor nutrition in our food cannot be overcome with a positive mindset.

I guess the real question about quality of life is whether we can do anything about it? Do we have “self-determination” to decide what our town looks like, or what our food looks like, or what our health looks like? Are there mechanisms we can use to address these issues, or are they outside of our control? Can the behaviors and mindset of “growth” and ” more” that predominates our society, economy, and personal habits in negative ways be substituted for something more holistic or regenerative? Perhaps quality of life is the lever that encourages people to get involved? I for one do not like the trajectory of homogenization, consolidation, and wealth maximization that seem to be shaping our country today, but perhaps I’m in the minority?

I know I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I’m working at getting better at that. But for now, the balm that I use is to focus on being a good land steward and producing nutritious food because we believe it’s the right thing to do. It is an act of resistance to the status quo, and it’s within our power to control this one small act on this one small farm. It’s true, we view our success as an act of rebellion of sorts, against a system of industrialized food that is destroying health. And so farming for us is an act of hope. And at risk of sounding preachy or getting up on a soapbox, we feel the need to speak out on these issues as we are clearly losing ground (literally and figuratively). The goal is not to offend, but to add a fresh perspective to the drone of noise coming from the 24-hour news cycle. The goal is to empower people to get involved. Maybe that’s simply as a consumer. Maybe that’s by becoming a farmer? And as the newsletter is a cathartic act for me, I suppose that Community Supported Agriculture now means you all help serve as my therapists as well.

Thanks again for your support, and we’ll see you at CSA or The Farmers’ Stand! Oh, and one small request for Whitefish….the pickup at The Farmers’ Stand ends at 6:30pm…..we have been having an increased number of people showing up at 7 and even 7:30, so we request that you stick to the scheduled time if possible. Thanks!