The News from Windflower Farm
What’s in your share?
- Red Gold potatoes
- Yellow onions
- Sweet peppers
Your fruit share will be melons.
I’m imagining the salsas, tacos, quiches and stir fries that will be made from this week’s shares. The harvest team has just brought in the last of our shallots and will begin on the red and yellow onions in our one remaining onion field later this week. We grow so many onions because so much food preparation begins by sauteing onions in a pan. And you might recall that we made a bargain with a neighboring farmer – our onions for his carrots – and it’s time for us to deliver. The potato harvest is also underway. We opted to start with the variety Red Gold, which will be in this week’s share, and not the Red Norland, because weeds were going to make that harvest too slow for the time being.
What’s new on the farm?
I have the feeling that many of the impacts of climate change – including many of the small ones that will matter to our everyday occupations – have not yet been anticipated or have yet to be fully appreciated. Here is a small example: our winter squashes are ready for harvest a month or more ahead of schedule. We grow pie pumpkins, delicata squashes, acorns and butternuts, and all but the butternuts are ready now, in this first week of August. This is not all bad news. We have a nice crop after all, if a little small, and we could harvest them right away and send them to you throughout the next month. The problem for us is that these are intended for a little later in the year, after our summer crops have run their course, and if we harvest them now, we’d need a climate-controlled storage facility to keep them – they’d spoil in the heat. Moreover, we’d like to have some of these squashes last into the holiday season when these vegetables are traditionally more popular, and I fear that many will be lost in storage.
Easy remedies are hard to come by. Would a delay in planting prove reliable? That seems likely only if climate change resulted in a linear warming of the planet. But forecasts are for a greater occurrence of weather extremes. Perhaps we’ll have to spend money on better storage. Or simply give you ideas for stockpiling them yourselves. Do you have a spare closet?
It’s inevitable, as you know, that we’re going to have to adapt. In this case, we can start with something easy – a cold pumpkin bisque on a warm August evening.
As another example, our tomatoes peaked early, and they may go down early, too. That’s not for sure, but it would be no fun. In the meantime, weeds appear to appreciate everything about climate change. In fact, a changing environment is what they have evolved to take advantage of. They are the survivors of droughts and floods, extreme heat and the cold. The disturbed environment is their favored habitat. As Elisa, one of our employees from Mexico, motors past in the golf cart she uses to get to and from the field, a basketful of purslane on the seat next to her, and a big smile on her face, I am reminded to be grateful that so many weeds are good to eat. Lambsquarters anyone?
Best wishes, Ted