It has been a week of old friends and new here in the hollow as we welcomed 2004 apprentice Jamie back with her husband Cody for a week on the farm. They arrived Sunday late afternoon, just as Sasha and I were finishing up rotating Rosie’s paddock, and it has been a wonderful reunion. The extra hands helped us get the farm and fall plantings in perfect condition, the supportive voice of someone who has seen us grow so much in these past years helped us combat any August blues that might have been hovering. Blues? What? Well, it’s true, this can be a hard time of year on the farm, the heat still lingering, the workload not yet decreasing: no matter how much sweet watermelon we eat, sometimes we can just get cranky. Alas, the week gave us just what we needed: fun and support from friends and fellow farmers. Monday was our monthly CRAFT event. We all loaded the van and headed for Red Boiling Springs Family Farm and the Entwistle Family for an afternoon of camaraderie and education: they gave an informative presentation on seed saving and plant grafting in addition to the requisite farm tour and not to be beat pot luck meal. Tuesday and Wednesday we worked hard in the fields, cultivating, weeding and mulching all the new plantings. Paul was able to haul rolls of hay while the enlarged crew worked and everyone felt so accomplished at the end of each day. Thursday dawned with a rain that lingered and thrilled Paul, he was just starting to seriously think about irrigation: daunting. We also welcomed another visitor: 2004 apprentice Prairie and her beau, Kentucky native Jon. With so many hands and the skies pouring down to water in everyone’s hard work, we headed up to Highland Orchard for the first of many apple picking cider pressing afternoons. The sweet pears were falling to waste and with a large and excited pack, we hauled out the cider press and made some of the most lovely pear nectar ever. We picked the first variety of apples to ripen: the galas, one of my favorites actually and headed home to ready ourselves for an abundant Friday harvest and a sad farewell to our friends. In conclusion, I forgot some other monumental events of the week passed. A big hoorah for Paul who successfully installed a new pressure tank on the water system at the A-frame. It has been in need of repair since we bought the place but has been shuffled down to the bottom of the list for various reasons over and over again. Alas it was leaking so badly, we really had no water system at all, and Wednesday morning, with George’s assistance, the tank was installed and the water problem, at long last, was solved. As for me, I hurt my shoulder. Bummer. When I went to the chiropractor she concluded that perhaps I was overdoing it? Me? Really? And that the solution is rest. Me? Really? I hope you all enjoy this wonderful late summer basket. It is pretty amazing.
Please note, the annual Farm Field Day is scheduled for Sunday October 9th . I sure hope many of you can make it to the farm for this wonderful day of fun.
In your basket:
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil3 T fresh lemon juiceSalt and pepper, to taste1 8-lb watermelon cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks1 cup feta1 small sweet onion1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the basil and serve.