August 23, 2021
Hello Hidden Penny Farm Fam,
Here are some thoughts from a farmer on light and Fall...scroll to the bottom for the food stuff!
The summer that I worked at Native Hill Farm, the summer of 2018, was the first summer since I was a teenager probably, that I spent entire days outside. A subtle shift happens when you spend most of your 24 hour day under the sun, in the air, and in the weather of that day and season. Ironically, one becomes more attuned without ever being aware of it. I was squatting in an aisle that summer of 2018, thinning a 300 foot row of beets, when my friend and boss at the time said to me, "I love when the light begins to change. Can you feel it?"
And I did feel it, but I didn't know what it was and I definitely hadn't considered that the sensation I was experiencing was due to the light. But I could feel it. When people claim that fall is in the air, can they tell why? Crisper mornings, the pigment of the leaves changing just slightly? I didn't realize until that August day in the rows of beets, how distinct the quality of autumn light is. Longer shadows, amber tones, and a dusty opacity, as if someone pulled row cover across the sun. I love this light. It is gentler that the high sun of summer, and it eases us softly into the darkness of Winter. I've been enjoying this light this week, and I welcome it as a harbinger of Fall.
This year, Fall brings more planting. Last year, in my first season, I did not plant a Fall crop. We're a very small farm and it is actually quite difficult to manage three seasons of production. It means a lot of bed flipping very quickly; as soon as one crop is done, we clean out the bed and plant another. It also means that the soil doesn't receive a break until Winter, something I don't really like at all. (I actually hope to someday farm a larger space to be able to rotate crops more responsibly.) In the time being, I set a goal to have a Fall season this year, and so that is why you could find me transplanting broccoli and cauliflower today, in that gloriously humble autumn sunshine.
Something unexpectedly difficult about farming in the Fall is that all the pests have arrived and they are hungry for exactly the same veggies we are! In the Spring the sweet and tender new seedlings and transplants haven't been discovered by our nefarious pests, but mid-summer the secret is out! Bring out the row cover and neem oil, and add pest detection to your daily list of tasks. Don't think less of me, but I actually love spending my evenings in the brassicas searching for cabbage worms and squishing them between my fingers. I feel it is my duty as a farmer, and I find it quite satisfying.
We are back at the Wednesday Night Street Market!
We had SO much fun last Wednesday. It was a genuine delight; gigantic bubbles dancing through the sun-setting-sky to the delightful melodies of the accordion. Sidewalk chalk. Plums. Kids on bikes. It was truly lovely.
You can join us and Wild Edge Farm this Wednesday from 7-8ish. Again at the corner of Eunice and Widby.
You can order a plethora of produce and meat here to be picked up at the Wednesday Street Market. Or you can shop when you get there! We'll be slinging veg out of the back of our farm trucks!
You can also find us here:
all the best from our tiny farm,
Melissa, Andy, and the seven new chicks that our broody and magnificent mother hen just hatched