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Cool as cucumbers.

July 22, 2011

Market Update for Saturday July 23rd

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Greenbeans (Wax beans, Italian flat beans, and traditional green beans)
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Herbs: Parsley, Dill, Basil, Mints
  • Garden Bouquets

Field Notes

Harvey and I ate the first tomatoes on Wednesday. Two small orange Jaune Flamme tomatoes. If you have tasted the complex sweet and living flavor of a tomato fresh off the vine, then you know our delight. A few tomatoes are beginning to turn, but not enough for market. Next week, for sure. These warm nights are perfect for ripening tomatoes.

We have been observing the wildlife that is a part of our garden. Three baby robins growing up in a nest right next to our broccoli, means that the parent robins are constantly scavenging for insects to feed the hungry babies. We cheer on the robins as they systematically dispose of cabbage worms and other pests. In the Monarda (Bee Balm), we found a Karner Blue Butterfly, an endangered species. In our potato patch, I was excited to find an enormous caterpillar. I didn’t have my camera with me, but he looked just like this. My joy was quickly replaced by concern when I learned it was a tomato hornworm. Harvey moved him far from our potatoes.

All these critters make me think of Wendell Berry, who in many of his essays discusses  the interconnected nature of life. Food is more complex than me eating a tomato. Instead, Berry would probably suggest that there is a complex relationship between me, the tomato, the sun, the soil, the tomato aphids, and the ladybugs that eat the aphids. I can not isolate myself from the entirety of the system. Therefore, it is disturbing that conventional agriculture doesn’t consider anything outside the tomato, or rather the profit it can produce. Using chemical pesticides, herbicides, and other destructive methods does not produce a genuine tomato. We lose the life in the soil, the tomato aphids and the ladybugs. The resulting taste reveals the nutritional difference between a sustainably grown tomato and a conventionally grown one.

Growing good food does take work. We’ve been pulling weeds and tying up the heavy tomato plants and mulching the remaining onions. All the while, we’ve been watering everything. I’ve noticed that our hands have changed from all this farm work. Dirt has caked hopelessly under my nails, and callouses are building in my palms. Despite the daily application of sunblock, we have the most hilarious farmer’s tans.

I wish we were cool as cucumbers. Unless you live under an iceberg, you’ve also been experiencing this heat wave. In this hot weather, cucumbers are the perfect food. They’re cool, crisp and slightly sweet. Our recipe this week is a simple Cucumber Salad, featuring our cucumbers and dill. Here are some photos of the farm this week.

Any questions? Comments? Please email See you Saturday, 9-1, at downtown Selinsgrove.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2011 6:38 am

    Your Tomato Horn Worm is a Tobacco Horn Worm.
    Tomato Horn Worms have eight diagonal stripes.

    Health and Happiness,


    “My Garden”
    © Nevin Hawlman

    Wont you come into my Garden,
    where the Flowers wait for you.
    In the Pennsylvania Mountains,
    with its skies of pretty blue.

    It’s my Playground, it’s my Gym,
    it’s my Chapel here on Earth.
    It allows my hands to tend the Soil,
    which nourished me since birth.

    You will witness many wonders,
    of a tiny little Seed.
    You will witness Pollination,
    and the many types of Bees.

    Where the Song Birds come to greet you,
    and will sit on outstretched hands.
    Where a Sunflower Seed is payment,
    for their singing as they land.

    I am thankful for the Flowers,
    and the produce and the Dew.
    I am thankful for the Creatures,
    and especially for You.

    I welcome you to visit me,
    in this, my favorite spot.
    To talk of Flowers and Plants,
    or other things we like a lot.

    We can talk about Grandchildren,
    or the weather, or the Mall;
    Best times to plant your favorites,
    in the Spring, or in the fall.

    Should you enter undetected
    you may find me on my knees.
    If my hands are clasped before me,
    stop and wait a moment, please.

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