This Week’s Box 03/16/2014

The List

red peppers
romaine lettuce
gold nugget tangerines
purple scallions
purple cabbage
persian cucumbers

I haven’t always been a farmer. I used to run my own roof construction company. I ran myself ragged for 75 hours a week. I Worked with toxic materials and even some pretty toxic people. Half the meals I ate manifested themselves through the drivers side window of my truck.

My first exposure to farm fresh food happened  7 years ago. It was a Saturday afternoon. I and a friend were on a mission to cook the best meal of our lives. She said that in order to do that, we needed greens from this one particular farm booth at the Poway Farmers Market. She made a bee line to a farms booth way in the back corner of the parking lot. The sign said “La Milpa Organica” A young couple, “David and Maria” were tending the booth. There was a very large line of people at the time. But strangely, David and Maria appeared utterly undaunted by a line of humans that might have rattled even the most experienced retail pro. Instead, they moved with slow but intentional, “zen like” precision. All the while, smiling genuinely and making eye contact with every word. These two had a confidence and a manner about them that was attractive. Naturally, I was curious to know what was behind that.

We finally got to the front of the line and we ordered our greens and a bunch of carrots. I experienced sticker shock when I realized we just payed 5 dollars for 1/4 lb of mesclun and 3 dollars for a small fuggly looking bunch of carrots.

Remember Rene Zellweger’s famous phrase of affection in the movie Jerry Maguire? Let’s just say, La Milpa Organica had me after the first bite of mutant carrot. I was theirs. Needless to say, the meal was pretty amazing. Something about the food from that farm had an instant and profound effect on me. It was different. It made me feel different. I remember how two days later, I was actually sad about getting to the bottom of a bag of lettuce. It was like withdrawal. And worse, I had to wait 5 more days to go back there and see if I could get more.

I showed up alone. It was bright and early the following Saturday morning. I got a refill on my greens and I also got a chance to chat with David for a little while. We chatted a bit and then he would help a customer, and then we would go back to talking. At some point, a young woman who was also probably new to farmers markets, ordered a bag of greens. She asked, “by when should I eat this?”. His straight faced answer, is as clear to me today as it was 7 years ago. This lettuce is still alive. We just cut it. I suggest you eat it right now.  Something clicked in me when I imagined the implications of what this young man just said. Something inside needed him to mean what I imagined he might be meaning by this statement. 

After visiting the farm booth for a few more Saturdays in a row, it was quite clear to me that this group of people from La Milpa were operating on a whole other level of appreciation and understanding about food. I could not get enough of their food or their attitude about food. One morning, out of the blue, David told me that I needed to go see Barry at the farm. “He’s my uncle and he reallylikes to talk about food and farming”. Three days later, I met Barry Logan. He was standing on the edge of a field of lettuce… and he was barefoot. I would describe Barry as half tree, half Mexican Indian. A real life organic farmer. I did not want to stare, but if I had, I am sure I would have seen the  roots growing out of the bottom of his feet. After knowing Barry for two minutes, It was clear and obvious that this man was the source-well of the jedi like understanding of food, farming and nature that I had been picking up from the rest of the farm crew. “Why don’t you walk with me”, he said. Just leave your shoes by that tree if you don’t mind. And so began my informal initiation into the world of Community Supported Agriculture.

Our Annual Spring Work Party

Is a great way to acquaint yourself with our land, the farmers and the volunteers.

We have narrowed down the dates for our spring work party to two possible days in May. Saturday, May 10th. And Saturday May 17th. If you happen to be set on going, now is the time to let us know if you would like to come but can only make one of these dates. Whichever date gets more requests will be the date we announce next week. Projects will start at 9:30am and go until 12:30pm. After projects we will retire at the picnic tables under the pine tree and have some healthy food and drink. Kids are definitely welcome. Hope you all can make it!

Please wear close-toed shoes (no sandals!), and bring a hat.  Our well water is some the best tasting water right out of the tapBut you should bring some sort of drinking container.

Kale and Potato Taco

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