Monday, August 23, 2010

Summertime Blues

'I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler about workin' all summer just to try to earn a dollar. Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do, but there ain't no cure for the summertime blues'.

These words have been used before in this space, but late August of a very hot and dry summer makes it an appropriate repetition.

As mentioned in the most recent post, David finally has his walk-in cooler in place. This is critical part of the continued success of what David is striving to accomplish this first year of Z Food Farm. Not having a cooler has been a source of David having a serious case of the summertime blues. Walk-in coolers are an essential component of a farm- once the produce is harvested it needs to be kept fresh. Left in the sun and heat the produce will wilt and lose its freshness. (That is why David uses coolers and cold water at market- he is keeping his produce as fresh as possible. Produce is put out for display and purchase. If it is not quickly sold it is put in a nice cold tub of water and fresh produce is taken out of the portable cooler for display and sale. The goal/intent of course is to sell the produce as quickly as possible.) In the absence of having a cooler at Z Food Farm David has been, once again, greatly aided by the generosity of Farmer Matt at Cherry Grove Organic Farm. Matt has allowed David to use space in his walk-in cooler. This has been inconvenient for both David and Matt. For David it has meant multiple trips to CGOF to put produce in the cooler. For Matt it meant having to work around David's crates of produce. For David it also meant going back to CGOF on market days to get the produce that was being kept there. This added to the amount of time required to get ready to leave for market. And when time is tight, every minute counts. Matt has been a gracious host, but it is a great relief for both now that David does have his own cooler.

The daily grind continues for David, as it does for all farmers. Weed. Seed. Plant. Harvest. Mow. Repeat. One trait/shill/attitude that allows farmers and their workers and volunteers to survive is a sense of humor. Not just any humor, but MASH humor. If you have seen the movie MASH, or the TV show, you know what is being referred to. IF you have seen neither, then let it be said that the humor that helps one to survive an extremely challenging environment can be referred to as irreverent. In general, farm humor is not for the faint of heart. If you can't find some means of having fun while grinding away in extremely hot and humid conditions you aren't going to last very long as a farmer.

As always, thanks to all who support David, his workers, and his volunteers by purchasing your produce either at the farm stand, at the Lawrenceville Farmers' Market, and at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers' Market. Also, your kind words about the produce David brings to market are a great source of encouragement to keep on keeping on.

Happy and healthy eating to all. Eat local. Eat sustainably. Eat organically.

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