Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cast ashore at Luxy Farm

We're now into August and week #6 of the CSA.  Amazing.  Also amazing are the friends and family supporting us with their love and newly calloused hands.  I had mentioned that my dear friend Karen and her lovely husband Rob had been by for a visit and that we had tackled those vicious lamb's quarters together.  The following weekend, brother Gid, sister-in-law Clare, and cousin Iftah lent their hands to clean up the pepper and eggplant beds.  How lucky are we?

Then, I receive a distressed phone call from Karen, expecting to hear from her no sooner than spring 2011, asking for a pick-up and place to stay in exchange for another pair of farm-hands.  Rob followed a few days later and we managed in less than a week to weed the over-grown tomatoes and potatoes, harvest for our first market day, pull up the remaining garlic, change all of the electrical outlets in the house, bake bread, make kale soup AND have a good time doing it all!

The long weekend wouldn't have been complete without a cameo from Toronto's Miss Emily-Rose Smegal and CSA member and long-time friend of the family Mr. Steven Keeler, who both got down and dirty pulling out weeds and rotting broccoli and cauliflower stalks.  Look out country folk, we city slickers know how to get things done!

Not only is Karen Mackenzie a total workhorse and true country girl, she's also a talented singer & writer.  Here's what she had to say:

Greetings landlubbers and veggie-lovers,

Late last week I phoned my darling friend Daizy at 8 a.m., despondent over a disastrous sailing trip. After a month of engine and electrical failure, my husband and I had suffered a back-up of the holding tank. Since our recent mishaps had landed us less than an hour from St. Albert, I called on my college friend for help.

The perfect antidote for a marine adventure gone awry? A stint far inland on Luxy Farm.

Since last Friday I’ve gotten a crash course in what it means to be a farmer, Näf-style.  Early mornings (to early evenings) in the field, weeding, pruning, harvesting and watering. Household chores balanced with long hours in the hot sun, rewarded with a feast fit for kings at night courtesy the bounty of their kitchen garden.

It is amazing to witness first-hand the amount of care which goes into every vegetable, fruit and vine. Garlic, for example. The bulbs their customers will soon enjoy were planted in prepared soil last Thanksgiving, then coddled and weeded throughout the spring and summer. On July 31, Jonny deemed it ready, and we pulled them out one by one.  The stem of each pungent bulb was then painstakingly peeled, and we carefully brushed away the dirt before bundling.  Those destined for lucky CSA members were sorted by size, to be cured and parceled weekly.

Saturdays, as you know, are now market days for the Luxy farmers. Alarms screamed at 4:30 a.m., and we descended bleary-eyed into the yard. Kale, chard and zinnias were added to the piles of onion, garlic and zucchini destined for sale in Metcalfe.

As Daizy and Jonny hustled in the sweet darkness of pre-dawn, I turned my face to greet the rising sun, a basket of fresh-cut savory in my arms. This is a good life, but hard, and I am so proud of them for living it. Each snip and shovel contributes to the greater, growing network of organic farming. Every mouth won over by the taste of quality, chemical-free produce is another one disconnected from the harmful cycle of factory-farming. This is one delicious revolution.

And hey, the garden smells a heck of a lot better than that g-damn boat.

I'm blessed to have such incredible family and friends.  Jonny and I can't thank you enough.

Karen & I cleaning up the broccoli patch.
Farmer Rob
Luxy Farm at the Metcalfe Farmers' Market
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. YEYYYYY! So great! Love to hear about the farm and how good the summer has been to you. Love the photos too!