Dicey monsoonal conditions

Things got a bit spicy on our drive home from the farmers market last Friday evening. Telluride had mostly sprinkles, but by the time we made it to Sawpit, we noticed vehicles driving with headlights on and windshield wipers set on fast mode. Sure enough, as we rounded the corner toward Fall Creek, the skies began to open up and any and all side canyons were running fast with muddy water, rocks and debris. The road was beginning to be impassable by the time we made it to the outskirts of Placerville. We watched a UNFI semi-truck successfully attempt a deep, muddy crossing, and that inspired us to go for it.


Storming through treacherous flash flood conditions in Placerville.

It’s tough to stop forward progress on the way home after a long market day. We kept driving through more debris fields for most of the San Miguel River canyon and then received a nice, more “female” like rain once we topped Norwood Hill. That is, the violence of the severe thunderstorms had stopped, and the clouds were just dropping a nice steady rain for a few more hours. The native peoples who once roamed this land call those more gentle rains “female” rains, as opposed to the more intense “male” rains.

A weather observer friend of ours in Placerville said his rain gauge recorded 2.25″ of rain during the one-hour long severe thunderstorm. That’s a lot of rain in a very short amount of time! Translated into snowfall, that would be about a 24″ dump of snow in one-hour’s time. Imagine.

As we’ve written before, we enjoy keeping our eyes to the skies this time of year. This monsoonal season has not disappointed, although it’s certainly a strange one. Whereas most of our moisture this time of year is drawn up from the south, the saturated air in the Four Corners keeps circulating around so that storms are currently descending on the region from seemingly any direction. Two days ago it was the northeast and then last night and this morning we had a couple nice showers from the northwest.  Go figure.

Tucson just recorded its wettest July on record (following the hottest month of record, June, 2017) with the international airport there picking up almost 7″ of rain for the month (much more rainfall than anything we’ve seen in these here San Juan Mountains).

So what’s in your boxes this week? Anne reports “an abundant veggie medley” comprised of salad mix, kale, bok choy, endive, cilantro, kolrabi, carrots, beets, scallions and summer squash. She notes, “We did get some hail this week so you might see dents in the squash or tattered beet leaves. Enjoy and please bring us your boxes, bags and (clean) egg cartons.”

For those of you signed up for chickens, its a “chicken every week”, opposed to a “chicken every other week”.

A couple news stories (not fake) did catch our attention in the past couple weeks. One explained a recent study that found that men in the western world (non-Western men were not studied) have lowered their sperm count in half in just the past 40 years. Of course this doesn’t bode well for the future of humankind. Though no causal effect has been determined (yet), prior researchers theorize a link between lowered sperm counts and prenatal chemical exposures, adult pesticide exposures, smoking, stress and obesity. Scientists (remember them?) are continuing to research this amazing story.

Rest assured that all the food produced on the farm and in the bakery is “clean” food, meaning no chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or the like is used in any stage of its production.

An example of a clean and delicious loaf of organic Potato Rosemary bread, one of the bakery’s staples, which can be picked up at the Telluride Farmers Market or at the bakery location in downtown Norwood.

Another story making the rounds this week is the one about the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone,” which has now grown to its largest size ever, roughly the size of New Jersey. The US meat industry is being blamed. “Toxins from manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf,” reported The Guardian newspaper. These toxins come from the meat industry, namely Tyson Foods, which is reported to be the “dominant” influence in the pollution. Tyson supplies McDonald’s and Walmart its chickens, beef and pork, processing 35 million chickens and 125,000 head of cattle every week. And we thought processing 150 chickens every week for 19 weeks plus 125 turkeys was a lot of work!

Seriously, we don’t even want to equate our operation with that of Tyson’s. Because of the way we raise our livestock (pastured), all of the fertility either goes directly into the soil through the livestock’s pasture rotations, or the “waste” by-products from the processing plant are composted and then eventually amended into the garden soil to produce these amazingly nutrient-rich vegetables.

This environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico points to yet  another reason to support your local organic farmers.

And for that, as always, we’re very grateful. Thank you!