Summer CSA Week Three: Bill update and more

Hello dear CSA members, 

What a week. When I wrote my newsletter last Saturday I had an inkling that things with Bill’s back were going from bad to worse, but I hoped that with rest it would improve on its own. Bill has an incredible capacity for working hard, even through serious pain that would certainly fell me, and I was fooled into thinking that things weren’t that bad. But when things took a sudden downturn on Sunday and a trip to the hospital turned into a week of serious medication and an eventual cortisone shot in his back, I realized that things were different than usual. We’ll know in a week or so how things are evolving with his health, and in the meantime I’ll keep trying my best to do the parts of the farm that Bill is expert at. I’ve managed to avoid certain jobs on the farm for a decade: I do Quickbooks, Bill does the black plastic layer. I run harvest days and do quality control, Bill makes sure seeds get planted, transplanted, and weeded on time. I organize and make all the CSA deliveries, Bill milks the cows and manages pasture. Specialization has meant that together, both farming full-time, we can do so much. But the downside of specialization became obvious this week as I jumped into the deep end of tractor work, milking, fencing, and much more, trying to do both our jobs at once. 

I have some huge thank yous. First of all, thank you to all of you who have been so understanding, so kind, so supportive. The encouraging emails and texts, the food that showed up in our fridge, the friend who cleaned our kitchen (twice) and got her father to fix our hay cart, the members who showed up to weed the beets, the friends who came to harvest, the members who showed up to help with the State Rep campaign work that Bill couldn’t do, the incredible former apprentices who arrived to teach me how to use the tools (like the black plastic layer and the walk-behind tractor) that Bill taught them how to use years before … you are all wonderful. And to our apprentices who were all in with me, jumping in to different work than we would usually ask them to do, calming me down when the equipment wasn’t working the way I was sure it should, starting earlier and joining me in not-quite-hysterical laughter when the cows escaped and ate the beets that had just been weeded, or when the backhoe showed up to dig up our front lawn for the new septic system that – surprise! – had to happen this week. My gratitude is huge. 

I’m not sure how this week or the coming weeks will evolve, and I’m grateful for your flexibility as we tinker with the harvest schedule so that I can try to get all the work done. I’m skipping the usual recipes and harvest lists for this week, as I’m really not sure what will be in the share yet (it’ll be good, I promise that!). I’ve cancelled this Sunday’s vegetable delivery (though I will be there with all the add-on shares), but the Monday and Tuesday deliveries (and at this point, the Thursday delivery) will be harvested as usual. Rest assured that whatever weeks you miss out on now will be added to the end of the season. You will not miss out on vegetables. If anyone has concerns about any of this, please let me know. We are happy to refund or give credit or whatever you need to feel okay. 

Thank you again, and I hope that the details about the farm and our life weren’t too much. The way that our members and friends have been there for us this week has meant more to me than I can say, and I wanted to tell the full story of where things stand. 

Be well, and we’ll see you soon. 

With gratitude, 

Reba, Bill, Eli and CJ

Summer Week 3 CheeseSummer Week 3 Oil & Vinegar

Week Three Add-ons: Eggs, Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Mushrooms, Oil & Vinegar, Tofu, Ferments, Bread