Farm Happenings at Against the Grain
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First Week of 2021 CSA Fall Extension

Posted on October 15th, 2021 by Holly Whitesides

Welcome to the first week of the CSA Fall Extension! 


Just like the regular season, the customization period begins once this notification lands in your inbox (which should be around noon on Friday) and will end at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 17th.  During this customization window, you can make swaps to your box and add extras.  Pick up your box at your chosen location on Wednesday, October 13th.  (Just as a reminder, if you'd like to change pick up locations for the share that is currently open for customization, please email Harvie support to request that change  Always feel free to double check with Holly to make sure the change was made.  It is so important to the farm that CSA members have flexibility in their pick up location.)


This week's newsletter contribution is written by Everette Young, ATG Apprentice.

Over the past couple weeks, our days on the farm have been spent turning over all the tomato and pepper beds in the caterpillar tunnels to make way for lettuce, turnips, and the rest of the cold-season crops.  The process has several steps: hoeing the soil; broadforking; applying amendments and hauling loads of compost in wheelbarrows. At the end of the season when the crew is tired—our bodies weary after a long, busy summer—it is this extra test of endurance which feels especially fruitful. Everyone on the farm is committed to finishing out the season strong.

Otherwise, things seem to be easing down on the farm.  The vegetable beds adjacent to the creek on the farm have been sowed with cover crop for the winter and it’s already well on its way. Soon we will put winter covers on all the beds remaining in the field, and once we finish turning all the beds in the tunnels, the last rush of the season will be over.


The visual signs of fall are now everywhere on the farm as well: most notably, there’s a maple tree next to the goat barn which was one of the first trees on the farm to change colors; it’s now complete and bright orange—a breathtaking image behind a backdrop of green and red. It’s a constant reminder to look up from the soil and take in the height of the seasonal change.  It might be this which is challenging more than the work itself; how can a farm laborer feel present when the first frost of the year may happen next week?  What’s more, now that many crew members only have about a month left on the farm, it’s easy to wrap oneself in nostalgia, to think of all the days on the farm which really seem like one big day. I want to sit in the memories of the summer and reflect on how I grew and what I learned.


But then there’s the maple tree which snaps me out of my daydream. It encourages me be with the leaves which fall in great bursts of wind, the sound of the migrating geese above, the smell of the compost, and the butternut squash which sit in crates in the pack shed.  These daily reminders of the beauty of autumn are what help the laborer when the work is hard.  To be grateful in the present moment almost seems like a transgressive act; there is so much to be grateful for on the farm this time of year.  Sometimes one just needs to be reminded by a maple tree.


Much love and happy eating,


Holly, Andy and the ATG Crew