We have been at the mercy of the weather much more lately. We had a couple of really hot days where it was not possible to spend long days in the fields. It got up to 95 last Tuesday and Wednesday and we planted and weeded what we could using a portable tent for some shade, but it was hard to be very productive. We have also been dealing with a lot of rain lately. On rainy days we can usually come up with things to do such as harvest, work in the green house, and clean, but after a while we usually end up with some free time because the majority of work can’t get done. Un fortunately it is supposed to rain a lot next week, but we will start packing up boxes to take into Chicago for our CSA, so that should keep us busy. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a system where you can pay a subscription price to a farm and have them deliver produce to your neighborhood throughout the growing season.
Yesterday we went the other girls and I ran our first market of the season. Jesse goes into Chicago every Saturday to the green city market, but we will be running a local market as well. It is in a town called Harbert and run by a group of farmers called the “Shore of Plenty”. This guy named Leo is kind of in charge and he is super nice and talkative. We woke up at 5:30 to pack up and drive over there to start at 7, only to find out that Jesse got the time wrong and we didn’t need to be there until 9. We took a breakfast break and then unpacked our stand between a pair of women who baked on the weekends and another local organic farmer named Mark. I really enjoyed how laid back the market was and how friendly the other farmers were. We sold out of all of our produce except for the kale (we didn’t bring a ton because it is still early in the season). At the insistence of Leo, Mark rattled off like 2-dozen things we should checkout while we are down here. In the future, I don’t think all of us will go though. Four people running one market stand was kind of a waste of time.
Thursdays have been marked off as project days. They tend to be a nice break from the week because we get to sleep in (the library doesn’t open until 10) and kind of do what we want as long as we are being productive. I am working on designing a compost system, but haven’t gotten all that far because it needs to fit the organic qualifications and be able to fit the large amount of compost it would need to deal with. It took me a while, but I think I am getting to the point of actually coming up with a design. It needs to be easy to load, easy to turn, and easy to monitor. Designing it won’t be easy. The other girls are doing some pretty cool projects too. Faye is working on bat boxes and some educational plans to build them with our farm camp kids. I hope they work because the mosquitos are really out of control. Kristin is working on improving the drainage system in the green house (among other things, such as an herb garden). Annie is trying to design a chicken tractor that they can’t escape from. I think there has been like one day in the last week we have been able to keep them in. It is super frustrating because when they are everywhere all I want to do is kick them, but Annie actually does, and apparently all that happens is they like jump a bit and go “Bock”. Really chickens. I think I would totally hate them if I didn’t enjoy their eggs so much. In the past week I have used them to make chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting and a frittata.
Today is a Sunday so Kristin and I hit up a local coffee shop/deli that is owned by some of Jesse’s friends. They have this awesome coffee called “Intelligentsia” that I think is roasted in Chicago. Later we are hoping to hit up some sand dunes before it rains.