I'm assuming that none of you are interested in the reasons for my momentary absence (who likes listening to excuses?!)...so I'm just going to jump right in.
If you've followed this little blog for any length of time, you know that I tend to focus on the sweet side of life. What can I say? The endless kitchen parade of baked goods fueled by throwing butter and flour and sugar and eggs together never fails to excite me. Fortunately for my health, my diet does not consist of exclusively sweet things.
Veggies...I used to feel pretty whateverishly towards them and am still notorious among those who know me well for strongly disliking salad. Vegetables were always so green tasting...and so unchocolaty! (By the way, they are still green and unchocolaty, but I like them now. Wonder of wonders.) At some point in the not so distant past, I decided that health should be a priority, maybe...so in came the produce. In east asia, I fell head-over-heels in love with eggplant, cucumber, cabbage. However, we also had to scrub each veg and fruit passing through the kitchen with salt or special fruit wash to de-pesticide it. Grateful that is no longer a part of my life.
And now I live in one of the most agriculturally rich areas in the world. I love driving through orchard-lined streets on my way into town and stopping by roadside fruit stands that magically pop up like flowers in the summer for cherries and peaches, but prior to last week, I had never actually been on a farm. (Crazy, because the largest student club at my high school was definitely the Future Farmers of America: Drive Your Tractor to School Day, anyone?)
Our CSA hosted a field day on Saturday, meaning an open invitation to anyone to come out and check out how organic farming works. I think I knew in theory before that farming is hard, but...wow, now I know that farming is an incredible labor of love. If you personally know any farmers, give them a great big hug the next time you see them because...wow. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. Also, you can ask me about cover crops, devilish weeds, methods of preventing cross-pollination, and irrigation systems anytime. (Actually, please don't...I only know what I was told, and mostly I kept envisioning how long it would actually take me to drive a tractor to high school. Yeah...I'm a daydreamer.)
And now...your own personal tour of Kline Organic Farm!
Green onions are in season!
A very WMFHB-esque picture with the beginnings of some sugar snap peas. (This photo was actually accidental...but I like it.) Right after I shot this, one of the little boys in our group ran up to Brian (the main farmer) and asked him, "Where's the kale?" I was astonished. Some of the littlest children have the oldest (and apparently healthiest) souls.
After the farm tour, Brian asked for help transplanting arugula...he got a great response! Being on a farm has this uncanny tendency to make you feel like digging around in the dirt.
Our edible souvenir of our day: some beautiful strawberries from Kline Organic's sister fruit farm, Tyson Hill. Now this is not me on a soapbox or anything, but these strawberries had a depth of sweetness, a complex flavor unlike anything I've ever tasted before that I am 150% attributing to the organic factor, the small farm factor, the local factor, and the just-picked-about-5-minutes-ago factor. My brain has a very difficult time thinking about anything else when Tyson Hill strawberries are in the house. We got another half flat from them yesterday, and it's almost already gone.
Oh be still, my strawberry heart.