Farmer's Market May 29, 2020
Seventeen days of rain. Straight. No break. It ends tonight and we will have maybe five or six days of dry weather. As I told you last week, I decided to wait on the ground being ready before preparing any beds. It did happen, and even though I couldn't make our preferred raised beds, we did go ahead and put down compost and drip tape and covered some ground with ground cloth to make an "acceptable" bed to plant in. No soil was disturbed and today we were able to get nine varieties of tomatoes planted. We are behind schedule according to the textbooks and charts but we are right on schedule according to doing the right thing. And we will always err on the side of doing the right thing.
Last Sunday afternoon I was searching for for a pair of work pants in my closet and I came across a properly folded American flag. It was the flag that draped my fathers casket nineteen years ago as we said goodbye to him. It had not been touched since the soldier they sent out to the graveside remove it and folded it and handed it to my mother. I thought it poignant since we were in the middle of "Memorial Day Weekend" -- a time when we remember all those who gave their lives for defending our freedom. I had a quiet moment of reflection and then laid it aside and continued my quest for those elusive work pants.
On Tuesday Beth and I went up to Lexington to pick up some paper mulch we use for planting. It is a special type of mulch that is approved for certified organic production and we have ordered it for years from their headquarters in Colorado. However, we recently discovered that it is actually made in a facility they own in Lexington! So we called and ordered and they allowed us to pick it up there.
The plant is on Athens Boonesboro Rd just east of Lexington, very near the land where I got the soil under my fingernails and could never get it out. It just sticks with you. It's like a dread disease --you can never get rid of even though I tried for several years. The paper plant is also less than a mile from where my parents are buried. And my grandparents. And great grandparents. And aunts, uncles, cousins and countless people I grew up with who helped shape who I am today.
For many of these people they gave great personal sacrifice to do the right thing and sometimes I feel guilty that I didn't get the opportunity to do the same. I guess I'm trying to make it up now by doing the best I can. I really want to do farming and agriculture the right way. It's not war. Maybe not even life or death, but it is important and we are finding out now that our food supply and how we grow our food is indeed a part of our national security. Our president has even called this pandemic a war against an invisible enemy.
So, in a way we are involved in warfare now. We are fighting to feed and nourish our people. We are learning how important it is to take care of each other. To make the sacrifice of wearing masks in public, even at Farmers Markets, even if we think they violate the very rights our forefathers fought for because it's a sacrifice we can make to protect others. I had a person last week at the market tell me she would never come back because of the restrictions imposed on her. That made me sad.
I hope you will come to the market tomorrow. Even if it is inconvenient. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. I hope we have something that will help sustain you and your family. I hope our produce and beef will enable you to keep your family fed and secure. I hope that you might want to start a garden and let us help you in deciding on what to grow and where to find it. Even if we don't have it for sale in our booth.
Come be a part of the solution. It doesn't call for the kind of sacrifice that those we honored last weekend gave. But, it is really important to continue their example of putting the needs of others before our own needs.
Thank you for supporting local organic agriculture.