Full Share: Salad mix, Purple Beets, Sun Gold tomatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Cucumbers, Purple Cauliflower, Romaine Head Lettuce, and Red Cabbage.

Partial Share: Salad Mix, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Carrots, Sun Gold tomatoes, Basil, and Spring Onions.

Hello CSA members!

It’s week #12 of the CSA. As the season wears on, and the heat and the work load start to wear one down, it’s an important time for self care, both physically and mentally. Actually, post-pandemic, that applies to everyone, whether you are a farmer or not. Time to eat more broccoli, get an additional hour of sleep each night, cut out the alcohol…shit, I might even do some hamstring stretches. But this season, more than others, I hit a point last week where I knew I needed a fresh perspective. I was hopeful this spring that the Covid pandemic, and the toll it took on people with chronic illness, would be a wake up call that we all need to do better about living healthy lifestyles. Or that at least we’d be having a conversation about it as a nation. 94% of the people who died in this country from Covid had an underlying chronic illness, and the top four chronic illnesses are all lifestyle related (heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes). The data clearly show that having health issues is THE issue around covid, and so it follows that every individual working towards better personal health (diet, exercise, stress management, sleep, etc.) would be a key solution for improving our immune systems ability to fight off Covid and any other virus. But it’s nothing but crickets on this front.

The facts are in….as our food system has become more industrialized, our nutrition and our health has declined. And as price conscious consumers, we need to wake up to the fact that “cheap food” is comes at a really high cost. Our chronic illness rate has grown from 5% of adults in 1950, to 60% of adults today. That is an alarming statistic, unless you’re a pharmaceutical company. As I watched state and federal officials offering free donuts and beer to people in order to encourage vaccination, I knew that the opportunity to address health and nutrition was not going to see the light of day. Too much money at stake. And that is a huge bummer, and one that I’m struggling to get over….especially as we start to see a resurgence in Covid cases. So, time to let go for my own sake. Listen to more music, less news. Focus on setting healthy boundaries. Listen to what my body is telling me. Simple things really, but hard to incorporate into a busy life. And, maybe throw in a little gallows humor for good measure.

So, as part of my acceptance, for this week, I am telling myself that the state of the world is just a big movie, and I should sit back and watch the plot unfold (since the powers that be are not interested in the script I wrote). I’m not saying I’m going to grab a big ole bucket of GMO popcorn with some artificial butter on it, and a 36-ounce soda, but I’m also not willing to invest my mental health so heavily in the outcome. Who knows, maybe there is an amazing plot twist at the end that I have no idea is coming?

So this week, I am taking extra strides to simply enjoy the farm, and to recognize the honor and privilege that it is to live in this setting. Healthy food, good people, peace and quiet, amazing beauty, and a relatively clean environment. To take joy in the ability to be a producer, rather than solely a consumer. And to enjoy the ability to share this production of healthy food that was grown with love and care with all of you and the many other customers who choose to support us this season.

One enjoyable surprise for me this season is realizing how much I enjoy going to The Farmers’ Stand…whether it’s to deliver vegetables, chat with customers, or help out where I can. Given the staffing issues everyone is facing, us included, Sunday morning I went in to help Johnny and Cat out in the kitchen. I love cooking, and it was a lot of fun to be able to assist with making all the grab-and-go food from scratch. The highlight was making Zucchini noodles (called Zoodles, if you’re hip), with Cat’s epic basil pesto, and sun gold tomatoes (all fresh from our farm). Such a delicious summer-time treat, that is really so easy to make. Yes, it helps to have a “spiralizer” for making the noodles, but I’m pretty sure Rebecca has some simple ones at the store that screw onto the top of a mason jar. Otherwise, it’s just raw noodles, pesto, Sungolds, and a pinch of sea salt…all served cold.

Another thing that makes me happy is that we harvested enough Sungold tomatoes to finally include them in all the shares this week, so you should have everything your need on hand for making your own noodles.

While at The Stand, I also got the chance to visit with Karen Reeves, who I haven’t seen in a long time (and who was there shopping). Karen is married to Doug Chadwick, who if you don’t know him, is a wonderful natural history writer (for lack of a better description) and all around upstanding guy. Many moons ago, when I was a wolverine researcher, I had the priviledge to spend a few weeks in Many Glacier in the winter trapping wolverines for research. Doug, also a wildlife biologist, was a committed volunteer on the project, who also happened to be in the process of writing his book “The Wolverine Way”. I’ll never forget skiing across a frozen Josephine Lake with him at 2am under a full moon to process one of the wolverines we had caught. Those were good days. But, what’s funny (and maybe more to the point), is that I just saw that Doug has released his latest new book “Four-Fifths a Grizzly”.

I pondered to Karen….how is it that two “wolverine guys” are suddenly spending their time talking about gut microbiomes and humans place as part of nature? She laughed. But I think the answer is obvious….many people are realizing that humanity’s relationship with nature is at the core of all our issues, and that the answers (and our future) all lay within that single narrative.

Happy Zoodling!!!!