Mercury Rising -- Courage Falling
Well, this heat wave is pretty unprecedented. I have to admit it: the heat isn't my favorite. My overactive sweat glands don't serve much purpose in our stifling humidity besides soaking my clothes and boots multiple times per day.
NOAA records indicate that in the month of June we average 5 days with high temps of 90 or above. Well, we're on our way to tripling or quadrupling that this June and we've already reached temperatures that exceed the overall high temperature for many years. We've also broken some record high low temperatures (which means even the mornings aren't pleasant). Just letting you know why your farmers are looking a little haggard. Tornado recovery and then heat advisories back to back are making life a little on the difficult side for us, but we're hanging in there. Wish we saw some relief in the forecast. We love what we do, but some aspects of growing food in our climate are certainly challenging. Just keep hanging up the sweaty clothes to dry and don the crispy, salt-encrusted, dried clothes from the day before. (Gross, I know but you can't wash 3 sets of clothes per person every day).
We like to think we're building character in ourselves, our children and our crew. No one wants to go out in this sweltering heat and do the work, but the work must be done. There are life lessons to be learned here: the world doesn't exist to serve me or my needs. Where would we be if everyone only did what was convenient, fun, or easy for them? Well, you wouldn't have your vegetables this week; that's for sure!
Modern culture has isolated so many of us from what I would call "real life." We control our environment; we pursue our interests; we enjoy copious amounts of leisure; we pursue pleasure and abhor pain and discomfort. As a culture, have we gotten soft? What happens when we order our lives to such an extent that everything (or almost everything) happens according to our plan? We begin to form the illusion of control. But doesn't this make us more fragile and less resilient as individuals and as a culture? Technological advancements have allowed us to shelter and protect ourselves from most physical harm and discomfort (the weather service advises not to go outdoors during their heat advisory warnings and so we stay in the AC). And this tendency to avoid potential risk or discomfort has spread to our emotional and thought life as well. Anxiety, depression, PTSD are far more prevalent than ever, even though we have more material comforts and are far fewer life-threatening experiences than any people throughout human history. Yet we "feel threatened" or even "harmed" by words or ideas counter to our own.
The truth is and ancient wisdom would attest: life isn't under our control; we do not define our own destiny. For "You cannot make one hair [on your head] white or black" and "you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (Matt 5:36, James 4:14) Do you see the truth in this?
A positive result on a PCR test will curtail your vacation and a tiny piece of plaque from an artery can end your life or catastrophically affect your brain function in a matter of minutes. Despite all our efforts and technological advancements, we do not know what will happen to us tomorrow.
Whether we like it or not, I think it takes courage to accept this fact and relinquish perceived control. Maybe it helps to face the fact by grabbing an extra water bottle and heading outside despite the heat warning.
May I interest you in a kohlrabi?
Besides building character, the early heat wave is also putting an end to some crops early. The sugar snap peas can't hold out any longer and we don't expect broccolini to last past this week. The peppers, the pole beans, the eggplant and the okra are growing fast now but are still a couple weeks from producing.
"May I interest you in a kohlrabi?" your farmer asks. What about some garlic scapes or napa cabage? These are crops that we'll be forced to harvest this week and we'll need you to eat them so we can have room in our walk-in coolers. Kohlrabi is an especially good value. It's super healthy and is great raw as a snack. Love the crunch and they're really good right now. Also, onions, green garlic, lettuce mix and beautiful big red crunchy radishes are in abundance.
Right now we're in the in-between time (came early this year) between the summer crops and the spring crops. I did spy a ripe red Italian pepper the other day, but I think that will go to the farmer tax.
Bread and Cheese
Bread: Farm to Market Sourdough Artisan Loaf
Cheese: Hemme Brothers Quark Jar
We want to again express our thanks for all of you who came out to help with the cleanup and who offered their sympathy and prayers as we worked to clean up the destruction. Tornadoes are yet another thing outside our control. The experience serves as a reminder to me:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:34-35)
Thank you for being part of that provision and encouragement to our family.
May you find peace this week,
Dave and Sheri