Today is the last day of our spring/summer CSA and I can tell you the farm team is glad the day has come. When I hear people talk about how great it is that Houston has a 12 month growing season, I know they aren’t farmers.
I mean, I’m a skinny native Houstonian built for the heat and I would gladly choose 100 degrees over 32 any day, but sometimes I find myself dreaming of a harsh winter, of -40 degrees with the windchill. Farming in a place that has a defined start and end date: when the winter goes and when it comes. The thought of two feet of snow covering the ground and five foot snow drifts feels like a gift.
Here in Houston, there’s no such thing. I mean, when do you stop when you can grow things all the time!? I’d say there’s even an underlying expectation to “take advantage” of this year round growing climate with 12 months of production.
When I moved back to Houston in 2013 and looked for a farm to work on, I wondered why there were hardly any farming elders in the Houston area. In Maine and Iowa, I worked under farmers who had both been doing it for over 20-25 years. In seven years here in Houston, I can’t think of a single farmer who takes significant time off or who has a couple months of break baked into the recipe of their business and livelihood. I wonder if that’s why we have so few farming elders here.
So when do we make time for planning out next year’s planting plan? When do we reflect on the failures and successes and improve for the next year? When does the land rest? When do we get away from our tiny worlds and reconnect with a larger perspective? Get reinspired and re-energized? Remember what it’s like to not be in constant motion?
While the next few months are always tight for us, I can’t imagine still farming if we didn’t take a break from our CSA over the summer. While we still keep production going, it feels like a manageable load for a smaller team to maintain. Our staff then staggers time away from the farm starting in late June going through August.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Travis, Mary, Alyssa, Madi, Gabriel, and Reina who have made it possible to keep this farm running and fill your shares each week. It’s been a hell of a year and one of the most challenging since we started.
Thanks for supporting us through another farm year and giving us a chance to take a breather. We hope you’ll continue to come by and see us at the farm stand on Saturdays which we hope to transition back to in-person soon. Until then.
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE
Our basil is especially pungent and sweet, and makes an amazing pesto. Try as a garnish to pasta or rice dishes or simply chop up and add to a salad!
Pepper (Whitehurst Farms)
Green onions are crisp and juicy with a grassy, sweet, and slightly pungent flavor that is milder than mature onions.
Red potatoes are particularly healthy because of the thin, nutrient filled skins, which are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium. Half of the fiber of a potato comes from the skin.
Eggplant has a flavor similar to summer squash or zucchini: tender, mild, and sweet with a slight vegetal bitterness. Eggplant will absorb the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with. Its texture is firm and spongy when raw, and meltingly tender when cooked (especially fried, smoked, or braised
These beets have a deep earthy flavor with mild sweetness. They can be roasted, steamed or pickled and paired with fragrant herbs like basil or mint and sour cheeses like goat or feta. Beets are also a great addition to juices!
NEXT WEEK’S SHARE
See y’all next season! Thank you for your support!