The News from Windflower Farm
Hello from Windflower Farm!
What’s in your share?
- The last tomatoes of the season
- Sweet peppers
- Assorted potatoes
- Yellow onions and a large shallot
- Green oakleaf lettuce
- Acorn squash
- Green beans from Markristo Farm
The fruit share will consist of a bag of Blonde Gala and Ruby Macintosh apples and Bosc pears.
The crops of summer are quickly disappearing. This week’s zucchinis and beans and tomatoes are our last. Next week, you’ll get sweet potatoes and butternut squashes, along with salad greens and more garlic.
We will be offering a winter share again this year, consisting of four once-a-month deliveries beginning in November and ending in February. If you’ve been with us in the winter before, you know what to expect. If you are a new CSA member, watch for more information to come soon.
What’s new on the farm?
Many of you know that Don, our long-time driver and friend, underwent surgery this week. I’m happy to report that he is home and resting after a successful procedure. Many of you have asked about Don, and he wanted me to report that he is doing well.
Driving a delivery truck in New York City, and keeping to a tight schedule, is no easy thing, as I learned first-hand last week. We lease a new Penske truck so as to limit the risk of breakdowns and to have the benefit of their roadside assistance program. On Thursday, we tested that theory.
Daniel and I had been running about an hour ahead of schedule and pulled over to rest a couple of blocks from our second Brooklyn stop. When it became time to resume deliveries, the truck wouldn’t start. My first call to my Penske support team back home was placed at 1:00 pm, when Stan, the guy who has kept my truck going for the past 7 years, offered a possible fix. An hour later, the fix unsuccessful, I called Penske 24/7 Roadside Assistance, initiating a mechanic’s call. Thank goodness we leased a truck with roadside support, I thought. They indicated that assistance could be expected in about two hours.
In the meantime, I sent a note out to our CSA site coordinators letting them know of our predicament. The Penske 24/7 people called to tell me there would be a delay, so I set out on foot to nearby Atlantic Avenue to try to rent a U-Haul truck with which to make our remaining deliveries. Dozens of trucks were parked outside, and I was feeling hopeful. But, alas, every single truck was reserved. It was now after 3:00, and the prospect of making deliveries on time was in jeopardy.
I was about to give up at this point, and had begun to make a list of what vegetables would be donated to the food pantries, when I received a call from a co-founder of the Central Brooklyn CSA, saying he’d found a rental truck – the last U-Haul in Brooklyn! – and that he would pick it up and meet our truck if it would help. By the time he’d arrived, volunteers from his site had come to help with the transfer of boxes from my truck to his. In the end, we arrived at all of our Brooklyn locations just 30 to 60 minutes behind their normal start times. Our very capable CSA organizers had put the word out of our delay and arranged to have truck unloading help on hand. The deliveries turned out to be festive affairs, with applause coming even as we swiped the fender of a parked car coming into Clinton Hill.
Our arrival in Manhattan, our last stop, took place at 7:30, two hours behind schedule. It was the least likely to work out, and I’m sure there were members who missed a share, but most of the membership of the Stanton Street CSA was at the site when we got there, and they cheered our arrival. They unloaded the truck like a firemen’s bucket brigade and we were off. Our CSA membership rallied! Community supported agriculture indeed!
The Penske 24/7 mechanic finally called at 8:00, having arrived at my truck not long before, to say that it couldn’t be fixed and would have to be towed. He wondered if a replacement truck would be useful to help us finish our deliveries.
Pizza, the best I’d tasted in a long time, was waiting for us back at our truck, compliments of another Central Brooklyn CSA co-founder. The tow truck finally arrived at midnight. By 2:00 am, at Penske of Parsippany, we were situated in a replacement truck, exactly 12 hours after my first call to Penske 24/7, and by 5:00 am we were home, in time for a good farm breakfast and bed.
During our drive home, Daniel and I had time to reflect on the day. We recognized, most importantly, that we were on the receiving end of dozens of acts of kindness. And for that we remain full of gratitude. Thank you one and all! As for Penske 24/7, I think it’s time to reevaluate our relationship.
Have a great week, Ted