Garlic, cucumbers, eggplant, zuchinni, tomatoes (soon) … hmmm. Really? Is the summer of 2014 already waning? What? Where’d it go? Is it here yet? Over so quick? Well, not quite, but from what is being harvested in the garden, one gets the sense that the growing season is in its mature statges, that the garden is providing late-summer type crops. And it is. It’s really a reminder on just how short the growing season is in these parts. But we’re not keen on writing off summer quite yet. We’ve still got the “dog days” coming up, a full month of August, before we can start talking about, uhm, fall (shhh, not so loud!). Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy the bounty, the warm days and nights (relatively speaking), the jumps in the pond to cool off, the large sombreros to keep the sun of our necks, the sweat pouring down our faces while weeding, the shorts, t-shirts and sandals, the boisterous afternoon thunderstorms. Living and eating seasonally from the garden does put one in touch more intimately with the seasons in general. As members of this local CSA, you too can enjoy that intimacy with the land in what you prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So, enjoy it while you can!
It’s an honor and a pleasure to bake, grow and raise livestock here. We’re psyched to be providing such delicious, nutritious foods for our members and ourselves. Thank you all for being a part of this journey, of what is really a small-scale revolution.
What’s in your box this week
(Important note: So much is happening in the garden. So many vegetables are just beginning to ripen and while we will soon be overwhelmed with many of them, their initial harvest will be smaller. To that end, distribution of eggplant and zucchini will be somewhat sporadic for the next two weeks. You may have eggplant in your box this week or next week. Same with zucchini.
Also, we realize that you get a lot of Swiss chard over the course of the summer. If you need a break from chard just email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll take it out of your box. Likewise, if you want MORE chard, let us know and we’ll give you extra! Tuesday shares need to let us know by Monday night. Friday shares by Thursday morning and Saturday shares by Friday night.)
Slicing Cucumbers (Pickling cukes are also ready. Let us know if you want to order a box of pickling cukes ($1.25/lb) and we’ll put you on the list!)
Swiss Chard (Please email us if you need a break from Chard or if you want extra this week)
Dill and Basil
Pastured eggs for egg shares
Pastured poultry for “every week” chicken shares
Organic bread and/or addictive granola for bakery shares
This week’s RECIPE is a delicious cucumber/dill salad, and can be found by clicking here.
We were also turned on to a fabulous website, www.smittenkitchen.com that has many delicious recipes that you must check out! (Thanks, Hannah!)
Drought continues its grip on the West
Speaking of boisterous afternoon thunderstorms (Sunday, in particular, was spectacular), the monsoonal flow has returned for a few days and we’re rejoicing. Here’s to a long rainy season! Here’s to fending off the effects of long-term drought in the Four Corners region! Here’s to keeping our rivers, streams and reservoirs full! Here’s to recharging the springs on this mesa! Here’s to wetting rains that penetrate deep into the subsoils! Here’s to water!
Other parts in the Western U.S. aren’t quite as fortunate. The ongoing drought is an oft-written and talked about story in just about every media outlet. But for California, it is truly epic, although for the life of us we can’t see how it is that domestic water demand in that state continues to rise in spite of water shortages. Go figure. Lake Mead, one of several reservoirs that provides water for Las Vegas and Southern California, is at the lowest level is’t been since it was built, practically making the West’s largest reservoir obsolete. Parts of California haven’t seen precipitation in months. Maybe a winter El Nino will bail the state out? Maybe.
It’s easy to lose perspective of some of that dryness, living here in the headwaters region of the San Miguel River. But we do remember well the 100-year drought that hit the Four Corners in the early millennium. It too, was epic and shook up our own visions, dreams and plans for this farm. We’ve come a long way since, and fortunately, conditions have not been quite as dire. We’ve worked on “resiliency” here at the farm, and so far is seems to be paying off.
As an aside, we couldn’t help notice that in spite of the Town of Telluride nearly completing its Bridal Veil water treatment plant, which will expand domestic water capacity, the Town already passed its own water restriction regulations. It’s obviously anticipating dryer conditions ahead. Okay, these restrictions are kind of a joke, really. Let’s see, if we understand them correctly, residents can’t water lawns during daylight hours. That’s it. Whooppee! That’s real water conservation for ‘ya. But in all seriousness, Telluride officials have probably conceded to the fact that Telluride — no matter how large it builds treatment plants or reservoirs — holds junior rights in the San Miguel River and its tributaries. As the Town and region approach buildout, as Telluride hosts more and larger summer festivals, as the ski area expands its snowmaking, the finite nature of Telluride’s (and the Mountain Village’s) water rights may actually come to play. Water, even in the apparent land of plenty, is not a limitless resource after all, no matter how close to the headwaters we all reside. Junior rights in the West don’t really count for much, once a downstream senior right holder (in this case, the Nucla ditch company), calls on its water.
Norwood, too, relies on headwater rights to tributaries of the San Miguel River, mainly from the Lone Cone drainage. Out here, the mentality is more of a “every drop is sacred,” and water shortages have actually contributed to curtailing growth in the town limits and on the mesa. Available quantities are just not there for domestic use. Meanwhile, the ranchers and farmers will continue to feed the people, adding to the region’s economic diversity and vitality.
In essence, without water, we wouldn’t be able to farm. We’re definitely in the “every drop is sacred” category. As long as we have it, we can continue to provide.
Antibiotic use in livestock will continue
Also making the news lately are antibiotics in the foods, mainly meats, that consumers are buying at the grocery store. These antibiotics are fed to healthy animals — beef, pork, poultry, etc. — to help them grow faster and prevent illness. Many doctors and researchers, however, say that this rampant overuse of antibiotics is contributing to “superbugs” that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics. And some are faintly ringing the alarm bells, although no one seems to be listening in this world of corporate-dominated everything. An estimated 23,000 Americans die each year to these drug-resistant infections.
“The misuse of antibiotics in food animal production contributes to the epidemic of antibiotic resistance in our hospitals and communities,” Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, said in a recent news release. He called overuse of antibiotics in livestock, “one of the most important public health problems of our time.”
So, we were disappointed this week when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the FDA could continue its policies of allowing these antibiotics be used in livestock.
As you know, we have a policy here at the farm where none of our livestock — the broiler chickens, the layer hens, the turkeys, the goats, the pigs, etc. — is ever medicated in any form or fashion. That’s a policy we don’t intend on changing.