Thursday, January 30, 2014

Looking forward...

Looking forward to another season...and looking back to see how far we've come...
If you were a member of Hesperides Organica CSA in the early years and didn't rejoin, you might want to try us again. We've come a long way, baby!  Last year was our best. (Lots of broccoli and cauliflower).  We think this year will be even better (knock-knock on weeds).  It hasn't been easy.  I wish I could write a book (and cash out!  But where would I go? What would I do?  I love these vegetables.  And the CSA.  I truly do!) about the early years of growing vegetables for a CSA.  But I've decided to block them out. The early years that is.  It was painful.  And humbling.  I'm humbled.  To the root.

Now, I am looking forward.  Yes, forward. To another season. To a lot more seasons.  Too a lot more members.  Too a lot more veggies.  Too a lot more roots. I just love them. (Seasons, members, veggies, roots and all).  I am rooted.  Here for you. Rooting.  For you and me too.  And vegetables.

One of the vegetables  (and there were many) that I did not grow enough of was spaghetti squash.  Now that I am gluten-free (well, mostly, I never say never to anything), spaghetti squash just happens to be a great substitute for that: spaghetti.  Since I ran out (I still have plenty of butternut and Long Island Cheese), I bought a spaghetti squash from a regular grocery store (Price Chopper (and no, they don't chop prices) to be exact) (the squash happens to come from Big Chuy & Sons (who thinks of these names?  Oh, yeah, Hesperides Organica, What was I thinking?) from Nogales, Arizona. At least it's the United States. 


I didn't think much about it.  The bill was $92.07.  I felt lucky to leave the grocery store paying less than $100.  It doesn't happen very often.  And I did splurge for some scallops (shot with liquids to plump them up to pay more, whatever ...and Kind bars for my kids (I am kind aren't I?).  And then I checked the receipt. $6.76 for the spaghetti squash.  I was shocked.  And I promptly put it on my table to return  My husband just shook his head (how many fights can you fight?).

It's not the $6.76.  We can afford it.  It's the principle. Or is it the principal? (My schooling gets in the way of my freedom).

Food should be free (At least real food). Right after air (it still is, isn't it?) and water (we are now paying a lot for it.  How many Poland Spring bottles did you buy last year? I bought a lot. Too many. Now I just fill my BPA-free bottle with reverse osmosis water (how crazy is that?).  It still costs.  A lot. But food should not.

I want our CSA to be a real community. Not us vs. them. But you and me. Not Poland Spring Waters. Or  Whole Food veggies. But us. Just us. Eating and enjoying vegetables. (From some of the most awesome dirt in the United States).  Getting along. Creating strong local communities.  I'm happy with that. Are you?


Please join us for another season! 
 
The 2014 CSA sign-up form is now posted on www.heseridesorganica.com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night.

News from the Farm: Looking forward to another season...
Members often ask me what I do in the "off" season. But there really isn't one. The CSA goes until the end of November and by January, we need to get going again....with updating the website (sigh), perusing seed catalogs (there is nothing I enjoy more than reading all the descriptions of vegetables and choosing new varieties to complement the true and tried from past years...and I always order too much), placing our orders with the local greenhouses, changing the oil on all the tractors and cleaning all the equipment, selling what we don't use and ordering some new stuff, updating a years worth of information into QuickBooks (I absolutely hate accounting! I don't care what I learned in Mr. Miller's 10th grade class!), pricing out farm insurance, meeting with people to see about offering new things to our CSA members and signing up members for 2014.

But this still leaves December. Four glorious weeks. Two of which I spent in St. Croix. Without a cellphone and without a computer. Every morning I would walk the beach and pick up pieces of glass. I became friendly with one of the workers in the complex next door. Every day he would bring out the tractor (did I ever mention how much I love tractors?) and a rake (I'm not as crazy about rakes) and clean the beach. It seemed like a lesson in futility. Raking the beach. And reminded me of the weeds in the Black Dirt. They all just keep on coming. He didn't mind. And I don't mind. It's just what you do.

And one morning, as we greeted one another, "Good morning," he said. They mean it in St. Croix. And are very formal about it. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night. I couldn't understand it at first and thought people were throwing us out of their stores and shops. Good night. Until I learned about proper greetings. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night. (There isn't any evening in St. Croix). He reached into his pocket and gave me a handful of glass that he had collected for me, seeing how much I loved this sea-worn glass. I was very touched.

To him, it was nothing. He does this every day. He just enjoyed my enjoyment of those little bits of glass. And I thought, I got it! (Again). The CSA. (I happen to be a little dense in these things). To me, it's fun. Growing these vegetables. Yes, it's a lot of work. But my greatest enjoyment is having our members enjoy and appreciate the vegetables. Bending down and picking up those little pieces of glass in the sand or the weeds in the Black Dirt. It's all the same.

But every vegetable grown in the Black Dirt just tastes so good. (It's not us, just the soil). I'm spoiled. And we hope to spoil you too! Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night. It's all good, isn't it?

Join for 2014! You won't be disappointed!

The 2014 Sign-Up form is posted on hesperidesorganica.com. Due to our rising costs, we have raised the price slightly and added two extra weeks!

Enjoy!

P.S. For anyone who received the Thanksgiving Share, the purple stalks (without the husks) of corn are popcorn. We didn't have a lot. Just some from a farmer-friend who got some seeds for free from Stokes. It wasn't much but it was the best popcorn I've ever had in my life. (Of course, popping it in coconut oil with butter and herbamare and watching Covert Affairs sure makes everything taste great)! Just shell it from the cob. And heat up whatever oil you deem fit and pour it in. And enjoy! 
"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward."  ~ Victor Kiam