Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothin’ but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin’ a song
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on
I never saw the sun shinin’ so bright
Never saw things goin’ so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you’re in love, my how they fly by
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on
I find myself humming the lyrics to Willie Nelsons’ song, but instead of making me feel light and happy, I feel stressed. After a winter without snow, a spring without precipitation, and now moving through June with no rain in the forecast, it is starting to become a concern. Our small farm relies on a well that we use for our home, which runs on solar power. Irrigating our fields not only depletes our water supply, but uses a lot of the power we run our home with. Hopefully, this is just a year without much rain.
The problem with the changing weather patterns is that we have no idea what the changes or patterns will be in the future. Living in New England, we expect that rain and snow will return, but none of us knows what the future holds for sure. Farmers are observing weather each and every day. Too much rain, sun, or wind can be devastating to the crops we grow. This is one reason why I get so annoyed by the weather forecasts that depict rain as “bad” and sunshine and blue skies as somehow “good” or “beautiful”. Putting human qualities on weather is a strange thing to do. The problem is that none of us are truly dependent on our food coming from our region. If our crops fail here, we can just go to the grocery store and get something grown in California, Mexico or even China. But, look what is happening in California and other parts of the world with climate change. We may, someday in the near future, become dependent on the farmers in New England. This is a good reason to support your local farmers and farmers markets, and to continue to save farm land and train new farmers. Farming has never been simple or easy, but we are all dependent on food and water for our survival, and it may become vital that we learn to farm sustainably on small, diverse farms, and that we learn to conserve the gifts that we have here.
The 3rd Farm Share
Many of you have probably never seen or used Lemon Balm. It is a medicinal herb that has traditionally been used for its’ anti-viral properties. It helps aid digestion and mood disorders such as mild depression. We grow a lot of it here at the farm, and you will find a bunch of it in your share this week. I like to make a simple syrup with it. You can also make it into a tea by adding hot water and letting it steep. The syrup will last for months in the frig. and is a refreshing addition to water or seltzer. I like using medicinal herbs in our daily meals and drinks. It is an easy way to get to know them, and to add vitamins and nutrients that we may not be getting in other food. Lemon Balm is easy to grow, it is a perennial and will expand each year. Here is a little more info. if you are interested.
Lemon Balm Simple Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 bunch of lemon balm
Bring the water and sugar to simmer. Turn off the heat and add the lemon balm leaves. Cover the pot and let sit until cool. Strain off the lemon balm and put in a jar in your frig.
The Bok Choy this year is growing well and abundantly. Here is a recipe from Martha Stewart. (The bok choy in your share, weighs at least a pound, so will substitute well for the baby bok choy in the recipe).