Letter to Members #5

Hello CSA members old and new,

I hope this letter finds you well and in good health.

The farm has been a hotbed of activity the past week. One season is overtaking another as earlier spring vegetables are on their way out while the summer vegetables are quickly racing to provide fruit. Mustards have been the first to bolt, as have some varieties of spinach and Asian greens. In farmer parlance, “bolting” is the vegetables bidding their final adieu before they pack it in for the season. (Side-note: I had a girlfriend I once bolted from. That was a good decision.) The final act provides colorful flowers that turn to seed and someday grow into a plant again.

As I walked the field earlier I noticed some zucchini and cucumbers coming along nicely and the broccoli has some florets blooming. The fava beans have flowers on them, so I imagine fava beans can’t be too far behind. The cabbages are starting to roll themselves into tight little fists. Even some green tomatoes are adorning the 1000 feet of trellis that makes an overhead view of the field look like a Stratocaster. The radicchio looks really beautiful but a bite of the leaves makes my face contort from its bitterness. A celebrity chef that visited the farm (and said he was impressed) (note, horn toot in progress) said that cooking the radicchio will take the edge off. I hope he is right or everyone will be able to spot a Bhumi Farm CSA member from his or her crinkled furrows.

I must confess, there are many times during the week when I wish I had a crew of migrant workers to help me weed (incidentally, CSA members are always invited to toil in the soil for an hour a two) and a big tractor that could drive itself in straight lines (those that have visited the farm have clearly seen that I can’t drive in straight lines) to harvest and cultivate. Everything has a cost though, and the cost of outsourcing comes at the expense of intimacy. The benefit of doing it alone comes with knowing what is going on with each plant in each row. I can see who is in distress and who is flourishing.

Familiarity with the vegetables is paramount.

But why stop this line of thinking at the field’s edge. In a world where speed and quantity is rewarded and expected, and relationships are formed and held together is snippets and phrases, the farm champions just the opposite, a slow deliberate process that can nourish us in so many ways. The farm is here to remind us that closeness is everything, on the farm and off.

Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I hope you are happy with everything you’ve received thus far.

With gratitude,

Farmer Frank