Good news and bad news

1 Aug

The good news is that it was a beautiful morning at the farm and I returned home with my tote bags heavy with vegetables. I picked up some gorgeous fennel bulbs (which a fellow shareholder gave me a good tip about grilling), an enormous zucchini, some carrots, beets, cute little pickling cucumbers, lettuce, kale, and for the first time this season some sweet corn!

The bad news is that like many farms in the area, Brookfield has been stricken by the potato blight. The disease lives on live tissue/vines so Farmer Dan and his crew mowed the potato fields. They’ll leave the potatoes underground for a couple of weeks in hopes that the potatoes will be salvageable, albeit small. (Little potatoes are better than no potatoes.) The extra sad, heartbreaking news is that it’s likely the blight will spread to the tomatoes. Folks at the farm say it’s probably only a matter of time but I’m trying to remain optimistic.

While I am disappointed about the potatoes, as I’m sure many other shareholders are,  I can’t imagine how the folks who work at the farm are feeling after all the hard work they have put into making these crops grow and prosper. I spoke with one very crestfallen intern today.

So, join me in sending a little prayer to Mother Nature. May our potatoes be safe from the rot, tucked in their underground beds, and may they continue to grow. And may our tomatoes be strong enough to resist the blight. And may the farm workers know that we still greatly appreciate them even when things don’t go right or seem downright disasterous.

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3 Responses to “Good news and bad news”

  1. little sister August 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    Sadly, our farm has also been hit with blight though it got the tomatoes first down here and threatened the potatoes. This is yet another reminder of why crop diversity is so important, and why cash crops are harmful to the earth and the people who farm them. If our farms produced only potatoes or only tomatoes, imagine the trouble they would be in. For so many farmers around the world, this is their plight. Thank goodness CSAs have members who share the financial burden when crops are lost.

  2. Annie B August 2, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    I’m a Brookfield member too and your post is a great read. “Community supported” means this too — that we all suffer the losses together. Just read a NY Times opinion piece today by Nicholas Kristof about “Nature Deficit Disorder,” being out of touch with the natural world. Being a member of a CSA farm certainly helps fight *that* disease!
    best, Annie B of Noho

    • Erica August 3, 2009 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Annie! And for sharing that opinion piece from the NY Times. I’ve heard of Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods” – in fact I may even have it on my bookshelf somewhere around here – but haven’t read it yet. It’s a subject I feel pretty strongly about and I know that my son Toby will not be suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder if I have anything to say about it. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about Brookfield, watching how the kids there experience the farm. I see them running through the fields yelling, “Edamame! Edamame!” (What a fun word to say!) Or carefully repeating their parents’ instructions when picking tomatoes, “Red, red, ripe!” It’s wonderful to see them so in touch with their food source. When I was a young child my understanding was that peas came from a box in the freezer, not out of a beautiful pod on a curly vine.

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