Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles Oooh the Twists and Turns of Farm Life...and the OXO winner.

For starters. Jillian. You da girl. Send your snail mail addy to me at kelly(dot)klepfer(at)gmail(dot)com.

And now, the rest of the story....(is that a copyright violation?) If so I apologize. 

Tuesday couldn’t have provided more perfect weather for a visit to the country. We drove with the windows down and our hair (ours and about a bazillion interwoven-into-the-upholstery-black, short-dog-hairs) blowing about. We arrived to find the pick almost done so we set to work washing and packing.

Rob went along with us. It was his first visit to the farm, and let’s just say he has a stronger appreciation for organic farmers after spending a few hours pack-pack-packing produce. We’ve picked up another member on the Tuesday pack and #1 Farmer has come up with a color coding system to get the boxes organized. 39 of them is a challenge. 39 boxes require 39 liners, and 39 bags and 39 piles PER ITEM. Creativity and organization are king,

We snagged several ounces of arugula. Last year it was not something my tastebuds cared for at the beginning of the season. By the end of the season the smell of the peppery little fronds started my mouth watering. Yum. We each got a turnip, and a deliciously sweet and perfect broccoli. More lettuces, kale and chard. The challenges of the week were spinach and carrots.

The spinach has bolted. I like to picture spinach running as if being chased, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with knuckles and flowers growing on the spinach. Once it’s entered this phase it’s done growing tender and delicious leaves. So, the farmer just harvested the whole shebang. Normally we cut above the knuckles (lettuce is the same way but without knuckles, you leave the plant and it will continue to grow, you just trim it…super green, doncha think…like reusing and reducing?) anyhoo, we cut above the knuckles and have leaves ready to go. When the whole plant is harvested you (and by you I mean me/us but don’t want you to feel left out) pluck the leaves off. Trust me, it’s a little quicker to slice and dice an unbolted spinach plant. Just saying. So no more spinach until the fall growing season.

And the carrots. Grasshopper Farmer waxed eloquent about the monster carrots vs the princess carrots. She made two piles. Perfect princess carrots were, well, perfect. And everybody got at least one of those little beauties. Unfortunately, the bigger pile of monster carrots was three times that size and well….when I say monster, I don’t mean super-sized…I mean as in “AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not Snow White's 7 little friends. No, these 7 Monsters  are Creepy, Creaky, Twisty, Octi, Floppy, Angry and Crusty
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the heck is THAT!?!?!?” #1 Farmer thinks the wet/dry condition of early spring may have caused some interesting things to happen underground. Some of the carrots look like they grew inside out, with a twist. The farmers decided that though an “UGLIEST CARROT” contest could be fun, the phone calls from parents who had to contend with the monster nightmares of the little ones might suck the fun right out of it for everyone. So bags of beasts went to volunteers instead. I’ve got to tell you, I was struggling with keeping my emotions in check while washing some of them. They was some serious ugggglaaay carrits, bettin they’d even skar some bunnies away, ya know? The teen boys who do a whole lot of dirty work every afternoon at the farm were pretty psyched though. A whole bag of deformed carrots. That’s the way to get kids to eat their veggies.