Those right there in that jungle are the jelly melons. You have no idea how excited I am about these things. I reluctantly wait in anxious anticipation for them to orange up and ripen. Look at them! Aren’t they so awesome? You can’t tell me they aren’t awesome.
So at Barthel Fruit Farm, where I work, we are harvesting apples… the few apples that we do have. (Reminder: we only have maybe 10% of a regular crop due to freezing of the blossoms in the spring.) Yesterday I picked Paula Reds which are a great eating and baking apple. Now begins the days when I eat apples from dawn til dusk. Munch, munch, munch. The farm dogs, Pippin and Tinker, love apples too, but they are also quite particular. Once the apples are ripe, that’s all they eat, and they like some varieties better than others. They’ll turn their heads at unripe apples and wait until you give them a sweet, crunchy one. Oh, to be a farm dog. Just running around all day, getting petted, playing endless games of fetch, devouring apples, taking long, luxurious naps.
In CCF news, I’ve come to terms with the weeds. They will continue to grow and I will continue my battle against their setting seed and making a mess next year. At least the garden looks more vegetable-ly than weedy.
I’ve got to give a shout out to my farm helpers this week. There’s no way that I could do this all on my own, even on just a half acre. I work full time and run a CSA and I do try to maintain some sort of life outside the farm, so I have to thank my worker shares Tom and Mary Beth for all the hard work that they do. Even just their enthusiasm for the farm helps me out so, so much. They pull weeds, mulch tomatoes, keep me in check. A worker share in the world of CSAs is someone who works in exchange for their share of vegetables.
The other people who help me on the farm include the Gauthier family. Candyce and her two boys Benny and Jonathon come every Thursday and get a lesson in bugs, basil care and pulling weeds, among other things. It’s very important to me to have young people visit the farm. They bring great energy and a different perspective. My brother Patrick is also an indisposable asset. Last night he told me that coming to work at the farm is like therapy to him. Also I never would have gotten my cooler built without him. I absolutely have to thank my dear, dear landlord Bob Barthel and his partner Nino Ridgway. I can hardly begin to describe all that they have done for me, number one being just simply tolerating me. And my neighbor Frank, he is my mentor in all things vegetable and all things life. I never would have planted one tiny carrot seed without him. The interest, the excitement, the help from others is overwhelming to me, and I give thanks everyday for the fortune that I’ve stumbled upon.
Your beans this week are either flat italian roma beans or wax beans. The cucumbers are either small white slicing or traditional green slicing. There are lots of tomatoes and more coming. I am very happy to have beans for you all this week. Get cooking, everyone! For a really great resource on recipes and great storage information, check out The Green Earth Institute’s website. Bookmark it!