I have been feeling guilty that I havent’ written in a few weeks, ( it’s been one thing after another with little time to sit and think these days) so I asked our work shares if they would be willing to write about their experience working here at Milkweed. I had to laugh when I read Lucy’s post as I have been feeling quite stressed about the lack of rain, the unforgiving weeds, and the vegetables that have not made it through the challenges this season has thrown our way, but Lucy’s experience has been one of abundance. This reminds me to see the larger picture and all that has gone well this season. A good reason to have others share their stories. Read On.
You’ve probably noticed: every week is a new week at Milkweed Farm. This week, there’s even a guest blog writer—me, Lucy. I’m a member of the work-share team.
For the past couple of weeks though, the theme has been harvest—which is probably obvious from those 15 pound boxes you’ve been bringing home. It is hard to fathom how everything can be so huge, with so little rain, but it is. The drought has made things very difficult but Lucretia is a good farmer and knows what and when to water—and how much is just enough— because she also has to conserve her very limited water supply.
We’ve been spending a lot of time picking and lugging crate after crate of XL veggies. Then there’s the cleaning or trimming and boxing up, and cleaning up the bed after it’s been harvested. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a period when you don’t have to weed. There’s always weeding to do. We usually use a stirrup hoe—a tool that was new to me and is a real back saver (as long as you make sure to engage the core!). Sometimes we do our work in pairs— time flying while we solve the world’s problems while simultaneously providing nutritious food for our families. And, there’s usually plenty of solo time as well, which can be downright meditative. The other day I spent hours washing, trimming, and bunching carrots. Not meditating though—I was anthropomorphizing. It is something I tend to do—appropriate or not—projecting my human expressions onto animals and vegetables alike. It’s fun to do, and Carrots always crack me up. You gotta love a vegetable that has a sense of humor. Lettuce is rarely funny. Eggplants sometimes grow a nose, and I like that about them.
And speaking of anthropomorphizing, here’s a photo of an ADORABLE Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar (also called Milkweed Tiger Moth), that Kim (another farmhand) spied munching on some kale. Usually it munches milkweed but I guess this one got lost or had heard the news about kale. I never new there was a Milkweed Tussock Moth. It makes a cute calico-colored caterpillar and someday—a gorgeous moth. Maybe the Woodruffs will see some in a few weeks, dancing around their porch light.
And finally, a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
(from The Zucchini Cookbook, by Paula Simmons, 1974)
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup vegetable oil (melted butter works too!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa power (which means unsweetened)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder*
1 tsp baking soda*
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Butter a square brownie pan.
Preheat oven to 350
Mix the eggs, oil/butter, sugar, vanilla, and zucchini
Whisk or sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda
Mix it all together & pour into the pan
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top
Bake for 40-45 minutes
* if doubling the recipe, which you should probably do, reduce the baking soda and powder just a tad.
The 11th Farm Share
Jalapeno Peppers and Anaheims