In Your Bag
Cabbage, Carrots, Garlic, Fresh White & Red Onions, Wax Beans, Cucumbers
Zucchini – green and/or yellow, Eggplant, Lettuce (Red & Green), Cilantro, Basil
Tomatoes – Reds along with salad tomatoes: Sungolds, Bronze Torch and Green Tiger
Red potatoes again next week. We’ll have tomatoes too and maybe some Swiss Chard. Our peppers lost blossoms and early fruit set in the heavy rains but we’re hoping for some soon!
Farm News from Anna Kleven
Hi everyone! My name is Anna Kleven. I’m working at the farm two days a week this season. I’m going to share a couple of my memories of going to the farm as a kid, and some reflections on what it’s like to have grown up on the farm, and, as a young adult, return to work here.
As I arrive at the farm on Monday morning, I recall how my brother Sam and I used to hop out of the car and make a beeline for Sunny (the farm dog’s) hut down the hill. Before we did anything else we would pick the ticks off his ears, wondering how he would survive without our biannual grooming. Now as I get out of my car I’m greeted by Wally, the Chow-Lab mix that has taken Sunny’s place. Wally is a different sort of dog. What he lacks in farm dog instincts he makes up for in prince-like charm. He is most likely to be found waiting to be let inside the house. I should say that last week he impressed us all by chasing a deer out of the field. (Though it was a bit performative. He was looking over his shoulder to make sure we were watching.)
As we head out to the fields, I remember negotiating with my parents for more play time. When they finally released us from fieldwork we would round up the other kids and climb to “The Pines,” a secret spot on the top of the hill behind that flanks the community building. There, we would dig holes in the cold sand and cover them with a thin layer of sticks and pine needles to trap and wound any adult that might follow us and try to return us to work. The path to the pines is overgrown now that the last Wright-Racette kid has left, and I am no longer evading farm work.
Once we finish harvesting, we load the bins of vegetables onto the back of a trailer, pulled by a four-wheeler. I climb onto the trailer with them. Erin waits for my signal that I’m ready to roll before pulling away. She tells me that ATV safety is a required class in the local high school. Facts like this remind me of how much I don’t know about rural life. In some of my communities it is common to be judgmental, insead of curious, about rural lives and livelihoods, and give credence to damaging myths about rural people. Conversations with the farmers are fascinating because they have lived on both sides of the urban/rural divide, and their stories topple my flimsy stereotypes about people out here. Mike is kind enough to recommend articles and podcasts by his favorite rural commentators. I’m learning a lot.
We break at noon. It’s lunchtime when the absence of members is most acutely felt. When members are here, potluck lunch is a precious moment of reciprocity. The farmers have been feeding us; at lunch we return the favor. The instinct to reciprocate is deep in all of us – I remember reading in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweetgrass, that it’s common for babies to hold food to their parent’s mouths. Industrial food systems obscure, but do not weaken our reciprocal relationships with the people and the land that feed us. Being members at Spring Hill gives us the chance to be conscious and active in these relationships.
As I prepare to leave the following afternoon, I am struck again by how many seasons they’ve seen through on the farm. Every season, for 30 years, they have renewed their commitment to this project. In a time when our lives have been forcibly slowed, our options narrowed, and the division between work and home blurred or dissolved completely, I can’t help but think that we can all take a lesson from our farmers. I’ve gotten a tiny glimpse of the adaptability, patience, imagination, and long term thinking that it takes to sustain their commitment to this one place and this one community, through all kinds of adversity.
As I leave the farm and drive down 6th street, I remember begging my mom to speed up so I could get the fluttery feeling in my stomach on the downhill. A MN kid thrilled by some minor topography.
I feel so lucky for this chance to learn from the farmers and see Spring Hill in new ways.