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Town Farm Makes Some Loops

Posted 7/8/2012 7:52pm by OONA COY & BEN JAMES.

Hello Friends,

Every Sunday morning Oona wakes at 5:00, hops in the pickup, and makes a loop around our corner of Northampton – Hockanum Road, Pomeroy, Old Ferry – checking the crops in each of our five fields. It’s a precious time for her, alone with the dew and the ripening vegetables. She makes lists on her phone of the coming week’s tasks, and she begins to compose an outline of how the next several days will unfold. In her privacy, she holds the whole week and the whole farm in her mind. It takes maybe an hour-and-a-half. When she returns there is always something in her hands – the first garlic or onion bulbs, some too-small beans, the leaf of a watermelon plant with some curious spots that will need to be researched online. She brings stories of things she’s seen. She complains about deer and woodchucks. She is full of details and decisions and urgencies. But more than anything else she is full of the cool, dewy morning. It radiates off of her. For ninety minutes she’s had the farm to herself. She’s had herself to herself. It won’t happen again for another week.

One morning last February, Silas (who was then five years old) woke before dawn and announced he was heading outside to do some detective work. Oona, half asleep, told him to put on his coat. We woke an hour later and discovered he was gone. We searched the animal barn, the CSA shed, the first floor of the house. Oona sped off in the truck and returned ten minutes later. She'd found him three blocks away, smiling, looking proud, walking homeward with hands stuffed into his coat pockets. We still don’t know exactly where he went that morning, though he claims to have made the long loop down the dyke, up Williams and back around onto Henry Street. He was returning, he claimed, only because his hands were cold.

These loops – one made regularly by Oona, the other made only once by Silas – make me think, for reasons I can’t entirely explain, of part of a poem by William Carlos Williams.

There is nothing to eat,
seek it where you will,
but the body of the Lord.
The blessed plants
and the sea, yield it
to the imagination intact.

It has to do with that word, yield. There’s the abundance – the sheer, glorious, radiant abundance of all this food. But there is also the giving over, the making way, the act of submission. I do not know what particular sensations propelled Silas on his small, private journey that winter morning, but I picture him walking alone, shoulders a bit hunched, eyes to the ground while the cold, bright day opens above him. Small guy. Detective. In a moment he will accept that his hands are just too cold. He will realize that he can not roam any longer. He will turn around and head home.

morning glory

So, find us this week at two markets. The first is on Monday from 10AM - 4PM. A special event welcoming chef Jaques Pepin to Northampton. Then, of course, come find us at the one and only Tuesday Market. Come get a free cucumber from us at either of these markets (your reward for reading this newsletter!). Here's what else we'll have at market this week:

RED RASPBERRIES! (I'm a fool for raspberry fool), GREEN BEANS, FRESH SUMMER ONIONS, CUCUMBERS (crisp & juicy, from the field and in abundance), YELLOW SQUASH, ZUCCHINI, PATTY PAN (here's a great tandoori kabob recipe), RIPE, RED TOMATOES, SUNGOLD CHERRY TOMATOES, FRESH GARLIC BULBS, CILANTRO, DILL, PARSLEY, RED CABBAGE AND TENDERSWEET CABBAGE, HEAD LETTUCE, CARROTS (Here's how we got them), BEETS, KALE (here's a great recipe for Massaged Kale Salad), SWISS CHARD, SCALLIONS, and SHAVED ICE!

And here's what's in the CSA share this week, including important info on PYO raspberries.

We'll see you somewhere! Be well!


Oona on Farmall


Mary & Mairead with their Raspberries!