Farmers Raising Ecologically Sustainable Healthy
Food for Southern Wisconsin


[Main Blog Index]

Post by John
Equinox Community Farm
2013-10-20 20:10:21


As another CSA season comes to a close, we can't help but reflect back upon it and all that we have learned. Each year on the farm we have been presented with radically different challenges and predicaments. Each year the landscape has been added to and taken from as it reflects the people who have spent their time and placed their hands upon it. We think it's important to recount what was learned; what worked and what didn't, what made us laugh and what made us cry. After all, it's not just the vegetables that have to do the growing and the adapting.

In the spring we learned that baby piglets are the most miraculously perfect creatures we have ever set eyes on. Promptly a month later, we learned that actually baby goats are the most miraculously perfect creatures we have ever set eyes on. We now know that piglets can escape through the tiniest of spaces in order to feel the sunshine on their faces. That baby goats will dance on the hard bouncy surface of a paved road the first time they set foot on it. Ducklings are objectively more adorable than chicks, but they are infinitely more messy and perhaps the effort of refilling their ever-emptying water dish just isn't worth the marginal increase in cuteness. Maybe.

In the spring we re-learned the rewards of patience. Three years ago we planted a few thousand crowns of asparagus, and now finally there were enough stalks to actually taste the fruits (veggies in this case) of our labor. Spring really is just one big exercise in patience. Placing tiny seeds into tiny soil blocks in hopeful anticipation that someday they will turn into plants, and that then those plants will provide us with food. Patience is something that we often find must be continually learned and practiced.

In summer we relearned that there are only 24 hours in a day. We did actually know this already, but in summer especially it seems we need to relearn it and learn to believe it. We learned that we could pickle or jam just about everything grown on the farm, and quite a few things that were growing of their own accord. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can all be made into wine; although we we haven't learned yet whether they make good wine or not. That will be a lesson to learn next summer.

Once again, we learned just how many people it takes to grow a farm. Friends, family, neighbors, CSA members, interns, have all contributed immensely to the farm in all kinds of different ways. Whether it was time, money, labor, or expertise we have benefited immensely from the generosity of those around us. Learning to be thankful when there was so much around us to be thankful for was an easy lesson.

We hope that you too have learned some things this season. Maybe you learned that you like yellow tomatoes more than red. Or you finally learned how to cook the perfect dish using Swiss Chard (I suggest parmesan cheese and butter). Perhaps you visited the farm and learned how soft a baby goat feels, how tall tomato plants can grow inside of a hoop house, or how kohlrabi grows out of the ground. No matter what you have learned, we are glad you have decided to contribute to this community and learn right along with us.