Farm Notes is online! We are musing about October... and farm tours!
For many years now, we have had weekly potluck lunches on both farms. Always on Friday in Vienna because Friday is the day when most of us are at work together, and we have a shared task of getting the market loads ready. In Loudoun, we have moved to Thursday potlucks because that's the day when we have the biggest group, picking mountains of vegetables for all the weekend markets. These meals are a high point of the week for us, and we are often joined by neighboring farmers, or farm alumni.
Sometimes it feels hard, thinking of what to make for the group—everyone wants to share a dish that feels worthy. Of course we tend to use the vegetables that are right at hand, so occasionally it will be a meal with many versions of salad, or even more specifically, several iterations of a tomato and cucumber salad. But we eat very well, week after week. Only once a season do we end up with a full meal of desserts, which inspires everyone to come up with a substantive main dish the following week.
On the potluck days that follow another social event too closely, we ward off creativity fatigue by declaring a theme. Recently it was: bring something to put into a tortilla. That was an easy success, with lots of meat and vegetables and beans and rice and salsa and condiments.
The purpose of these meals is to find time to sit and not work together, with a minimum amount of logistical effort. We spend a lot of time working side by side. Eating side by side is a simple pleasure, and we know each other much better after 25 weeks of shared lunches. The only problem is that we eat too much, and then we really wish we could have a nap, but we have to get up from the table and start the second half of the day instead.
From July through September, we go straight from the lunch table to flower bunching. As soon as flower season is over, we have crates and crates of greens to wash and bag. No time for napping, we get right back to business, powered by our full bellies and a good amount of laughter.