April 25, 2015
"Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts". ~ Charles Lamb
News from the Farm: The New Land, Chapter 2, Gently...
It was a good weekend at the New Land, 243 We got the water pump working (I felt like Helen Keller, water! though it still needs a little tweaking since you'd have to have the muscles of the old version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in order to get any). I found two shovels (just a little paint, they'll be great) and another golf ball. And a New York Yankees baseball cap. And a pair of headphones (that actually work – I did clean them off with some hard-earned water from the pump).
But the highlight of our weekend (you can see how exciting our lives our up here) was when one of the neighbor farmers stopped in with his 130 horsepower John Deere (what an honor that would have been in the old days to have someone visit with 130 horses in tow...today, it's just a...yawn!) and told us that a prior owner had planted three rows of asparagus some years back. He wanted to show us where it was planted, so we jumped the ditch bank (he hopped right over, I got a soaker (wet sneaker), to the field where he thought they were.
Of course, there's no evidence of it yet. Just hope. But we marked it off and will not disc there again until we know for sure. He's sort of a shy farmer and I think it was his way of welcoming us to the neighborhood (and I'm sure he'll appreciate us keeping the weeds down and from blowing onto his fields...it's not just fences that makes great neighbors!).
Asparagus is another one of my “favorite” vegetables. (Here's a great appetizer recipe if you happen to be a carnivore) and one if your are not). I remember driving around the country roads of Illinois in the backseat of a Ford Falcon with my mother and siblings (no seat belts!) looking for wild asparagus (wow, Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2005!) We'd scope out the possible sites in the fall (by looking at the mature plant) and try to remember those locations for the spring shoots. I can't remember how much we got or even eating it (I wasn't much for vegetables then), but it was “speared” in my brain.
I'd like to grow it for the CSA, but it comes too early. And it's probably not practical to have a pickup for just one item. But if it does come up...we will definitely include it in the “Pick-Your-Own. Along with a lot more of cool stuff...horseradish, rhubarb, lovage, borage, Holy Basil, yellow beans and more! Rather than plant these specialty items (they are not for everyone) and hock (sell) them off to restaurants or Farmer's Markets, I want them to be for our members (membership has it's privileges, so says American Express and Hesperides Organica.) Some members really want this stuff. And I do too.
I'm not really looking for a million bucks. I already have it. In love. (My husband and kids are great! And so is the Black Dirt). I just want 400 people this year (we could accommodate 10,000 with the land we have!) who get it. Get us. And vegetables.
I would love any one who has been on this journey with me (you know who you are) join again, for the season. Why not split a share with someone else. It'll only be $15 a week if your picking up in Hawthorne, $16 other locations. (And you can come up to the farm...just to get your feet on some Black Dirt). This is as close as I can I can get to free (and I do it believe it should be free..air, water and food) . It barely covers the gas to get back and forth from here to the farm...and you driving to pick up these really great vegetables.
Honestly, I think our vegetables are worth it. Aren't you?
Lisa & Albert & Jacob & Tyler
P.S. The 2015 form is on the website.
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Don't forget the Open House on Saturday, May 2 from 11-3pm at 27 Utter Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ.