Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week of October 3 2011 : More Pumpkins

Here is a photo of Nathaniel posing with his pumpkin. It reminds me of the classic photo of a father and son posing in a snow covered corn field with the son's first buck. Now I understand what is so significant about the photo. It's not the deer (or pumpkin), it's the magic of sharing time, sharing smiles and sharing success.

His first hunt was a disaster. He sat in the pumpkin patch then cried and screamed. The sound really echoed through the valley. All the neighbors were out for their evening walk and witnessed the tantrum. Good photo opportunity gone bad.

Now onto his third pumpkin hunt and the experience shows. He didnt settle for a pumpkin along the edge of the corn field. He walked all the rows once then he returned to the biggest and orangest pumpkin of all.

Week of September 26 2011 : First Pumpkin

Here is a photo of Francie claiming her first pumpkin. Last Halloween she was 3 months old, and not very mobile, so her first attempt to hunt a pumpkin was a bust. What a difference a year makes. Now she is very mobile!

For Nathaniel, this was a rare moment of unprompted sharing. He patiently coached Francie to pass on the small pumpkins and the green pumpkins. He guided her along the edge of the pumpkin patch until he found one worthy of his little sister.

She still doesnt understand why we want to go hunting for pumpkins. All she knew was her brother pointed and screamed when he saw this pumpkin. So she instinctively cradled it and claimed it as hers. Whatever this strange orange thing is, wow, it must special.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week of September 19 2011 : Squashed Truck

Here is a photo of Francie dancing in the squashed truck. Hey I am excited about the Blue Hubbards too! The photo doesnt show much of the recently squashed tail gate. It will rust quite a bit during the winter. Soon it will look more like a farm vehicle. Hopefully for Christmas I will get spongy rubbers to fix up the bumper just right.

The Blue Hubbards were a success again this year. Each year hubbards have the same sales pattern. We take bring them to the last four markets. Many people look and show interest the first two weeks but very few sell. We drive to market, and home from market, loaded down with hubbards. BAAH. But the last two weeks of market, suddenly these turn into the best sellers.

It's a big squash and its a big commitment. Even the 'small" hubbards weigh around 6 pounds. But the taste and texture are worth that commitment. Its a unique experience of sweet and nutty and dense and creamy.

So as I am loading the squashed truck for final market, I always make sure to leave several behind so we can enjoy all winter long, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week of September 12 2011 : Tradition

Each summer, I fall at least weeks, if not months, behind our blogging schedule. I try to post weekly during the market season and monthly during the off season. As harvesting chores demand more time the first non essential chore to be sacrificed is blogging. I am not a talented writer and during peak season I dont have time or energy to compensate for lack of natural ability.

So each year, it is tradition, after the season is over, to review notes and catch up on the posts. That's why there is such a disconnect between topics and dates. Field grown tomatoes and November? Factor is a ten week lazy delay and it makes sense.

Here is a file photo of our Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes out in the field. These are the tomatoes that won the Best Tasting Cherry Tomato contest at the Geauga Fresh Farmer's Market for the second year in a row.

We grow as many heirloom varieties as possible but the ultimate measurement of our varieties is taste. We grow the varieties with the best taste even if it is a hybrid. Everybody has different opinions and preferences so 'best taste' is a hard decision. So we are particularly pleased when market customers agree with us.

The Sun Sugars are an interesting variety to grow. They have good growing characteristics, except they require more pruning than typical cherry tomatoes. When picked at early ripeness they have a slight classic tomato taste mixed with a sweet taste. As the fruits vine ripen though the slight classic flavor is replaced with a sugary taste. We dont push our luck to far, as fruits tend to drop as they ripen.