May Farm Updates

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There have been big things happening on the farm this spring–some good, some not so good. My mom Jane had a stroke about 3 ½ weeks ago. She just returned home last weekend after a stay in the hospital and a week of rehab at Miller-Dwan. The stroke has mainly affected her vision and spatial awareness, and we’re grateful that there wasn’t an impact on speech or any paralysis. The doctors still don’t know the cause, and think that she’s likely to recover most of her functionality with continued therapy. It’s a frustrating situation, but her spirits are high and she’s happy to be home again. My dad John was just beginning his recovery from rotator cuff surgery, so the last month has been a big adjustment for two normally active and capable people. My parents have been reducing their role slowly over the years, but it looks like we might be going cold turkey this summer which will be a big change for all of us.
On a happier note, we have a great farm crew on board this summer! We’re just waiting for one more person to show up in early June, but the other two new crew members are working out great so far. Look for more info on the crew in a few weeks. We’re excited to announce that Glen Avon Presbyterian has agreed to be our new Woodland pickup site! Other than that, we’re not planning on any significant delivery changes for this season.
We’ve definitely been on a weather roller coaster so far this year, with big swings from wet and cold followed by beautiful warmth. We got almost 3” of rain this week, so things are quite wet in the fields. Plantings are generally on schedule for a start to deliveries the week of June 12th, but we’re hoping that things dry out enough next week to get our third planting of broccoli in the ground. Meanwhile, the greenhouses are filling up and we’re getting a lot of miscellaneous projects done.

Finally, I was honored to be on the Farmer to Farmer podcast about a month ago with host Chris Blanchard, a former CSA farmer in Decorah. The episode I was on provides a good overview of the history of the Food Farm and where we’re at now. Here’s a link to the episode, or subscribe to Farmer to Farmer in iTunes if you’re interested hearing all about market vegetable farming!

Upcoming Events (and a few cute photos)

We’re hosting an awesome art and music event at the farm this Saturday, the 19th, from 2-5pm called høle in the skY with Kathy McTavish and Zeitgeist New Music. The full press release and more information is available here, and here’s a brief summary:
“Saint Paul-based music group Zeitgeist and Duluth composer/cellist/environmentalist Kathy McTavish join forces March 19 for a special presentation of McTavish’s chamber work  at the Food Farm in Wrenshall, Minn. Featuring electronic and acoustic music, video, and an interactive exhibition,høle in the skY will transform the Food Farm’s expansive root cellar into a pre-apocalyptic world where extinction is imminent and our ecosystem is on the verge of collapse.”

When’s the last time you saw something like that in a root cellar?

Also, we’ll be at the Local CSA Open House this Sunday the 20th from 2-5pm at Clyde Iron. Stop by and say hello if you’re in the neighborhood, drop off your renewal form if you haven’t sent it in yet, or send friends and neighbors down if they’d like to meet their future farmers before signing up.

And for those of you who keep asking, I’ve included a few Truman photos as well…

That’s all for now, time to get back to the greenhouse!
For the farm crew,
Janaki

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Food Farm Slow TV

Ever wanted a behind the scenes look at how your vegetables are grown, packed, and delivered? Well, you’re in luck–this season we* will be releasing a series of minimally-edited videos that show the farm crew engaged in the repetitive jobs that add up to something beautiful. The first was shot on our February Winter Share packing day. Action-packed? Mmmm, no. Oddly compelling? Well, we think so. Enjoy!

*Who is “we”? Your farmers wouldn’t know the first thing about how to do this, but fortunately our friend (and farm member) Mike Scholtz thinks weird farm videos are mesmerizing (he calls it agsploitation). Mike’s other work finds the heart and humor in subjects like Viking reenactors and competitive jigsaw puzzling.