week 20, last of our main season

It has been a fabulous week. I really try not to overdo it on my weather commentary, but by now you all know my personal favorite is autumn. The crisp cool nights, the sunny bright days, it is in these conditions that this farm mama thrives. So, I have been absolutely pleased with the past days. This hollow has been bustling with activity as we try to wrap up the agricultural year. We are not done yet, but there are newly emerging plantings of fall roots, perfectly cultivated young beds of radishes and arugula and beets, hand weeded rows of kale and tatsoi: all to gaze at with excitement for the long fall season ahead. Paul spent most of Sunday off the farm, in Nashville actually, working with a friend on his new project. Farmer Paul is taking to urban gardening, and it is going to be a hot topic of future discussions. I will try not to get ahead of myself nor divulge too much still private information, but let it be said, if you or anyone you know wants to put in a small double dug super productive Paul Bela style vegetable garden in your yard, you know now who to call!
Another amazing thing happened quite recently: we finally got our wool back from the fiber mill in Ohio! Miraculously the proprietor of Ohio Valley Natural Fiber offered to deliver our yarn, so 2 Fridays ago just past dark she drove up and without much ado, dropped off pounds and pounds of yarn in the subtle shades of brown, gray, white, tan, and lilac that we adore in our flock of sheep. It has been a busy time, so I have not done too much with my new project, but knitters watch out,we have some incredible product here and I cannot wait to share it with you.
And here we are at week 20, the last week of our main season and my one and only chance to try and muster up a good tear jerking newsletter. I know many of you are thinking, this woman takes her vegetables a bit too seriously, I mean really, crying over the final week. But I do take it all to heart, for after all, these vegetables are my livelihood, these newsletters my weekly opportunity to share the inner workings of our farm with you, and you are the very core of a community that sustains it all. So, cry I will because if there ever was a year that put us all to the test, pushed us way outside of our comfort zone and proved, beyond a doubt that the hill and hollow farm, family and community could produce food, love and hope against what sometimes felt like all odds, this was the year. It has been an amazing few months for us and it is with the most heartfelt gratitude that I thank each and every one of you for sticking with us, listening to our joys and sorrows each week, helping us at market, and supporting us in so many tangible and intangible ways as we faced what seemed an insurmountable task: running the farm, growing the food for all of our families without the help of our usual apprentice team (or much rain for that matter!).WE DID IT. We invested our time and our energy in the two most important components of our life: our family and our CSA. We remain the permanent fixtures in this landscape and this has proved to be the most worthwhile, satisfying period of our lives, without a doubt. We have only you to thank and I will do it one last time with gusto. Thank you for eating with us and we look forward to many more meals together. For those taking part in the fall extension, see you next week, for those who are not, it is with great excitement already that I look to our next meeting in the spring of 2013!

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