Dishing Up the Dirt

The Farm Diaries October 2017

October 26, 2017

And just like that, we’ve found ourselves deep in the heart of October. There is a calmness in the air which is a big relief from the hectic stress of the spring and summer. We’re sleeping in later, calling it quits earlier, and finally taking Sundays’s off! We work 7 days a week for the majority of the year and it feels damn good to take a day off once a week.  Most of the farm has been tilled under and cover cropped for the winter. We’re only harvesting from about 1/4 of an acre for the remainder of the season. It’s bittersweet coming into this quieter time but we’re always hungry for it. Even with a less packed schedule we’ve got quite a bit of off-season farm projects to keep us busy. Taylor’s working on a big irrigation project and we’re talking about building a third (30 by 100 ft.) greenhouse.  We’ve got plans to construct a covered washing station because where we wash our produce now is exposed and really sucks when it’s pouring rain or blazing hot! So yes, the season may be winding down in some aspects but we’ll find ways to keep ourselves busy to improve our business in the off season.

As many of you know, we raised pigs on Tumbleweed Farm for the first time this year. It was actually one of the highlights of the season. I adored our girls and bonded really well with them. They would run around like dogs (we gave them SO much space to work up the ground and play) and would happily greet me when I fed them scraps from the farm or our dinner plates. One of the hardest and most emotional days on the farm was when we had to say goodbye. We didn’t raise the pigs as pets but that didn’t stop us from treating them with a lot of love and affection.  There are a lot of parts about farming that are tough, and life and death on the farm is one of them.

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in the 9 years since I began farming is this; vegetable farming isn’t vegetarian. We kill gophers, deer and insects that are threatening our crops. We need bees, manure, feathers, bones, and blood to help enrich our soil. It’s a full circle and we’re extremely lucky that this season we’ll reap the benefits of raising pigs and chickens not only for what they can do for our fields, but for what they’ll do to nourish our bodies this winter. And let me tell you, the pork is out of this world delicious! Our girls ate really well and I’ve never tasted pork this good. We’re so happy with how the meat turned out. More recipes coming your way this fall/winter!

Taylor and I have talked endlessly about how we can keep the majority of our diets as local as possible. I don’t feel as good eating food that’s been trucked in from a far and not knowing how the farmer or animal was treated. There’s a lot of chatter about animal rights but not a lot of talk about the farmers rights. When I pick up a can of coconut milk (which I love) I have to remember to think about who picked those coconuts. Was that farmer making a living wage? How was the person in the production facility treated who was packaging that can of coconut milk? Do they get bathroom breaks? Health insurance? And who the heck was the truck driver that transported the food to my grocery store? Trust me, I enjoy many foods that aren’t grown locally and I absolutely love (I mean LOVE) tasting the flavors of the world and other cultures, but even so, I want to be mindful about my purchases and think about the folks on the other side of the product. I’m a firm believer that there is no one way to eat (you do what makes you feel good!!!!) but what I am passionate about is supporting local food first. If we can all make an effort to do that, I think the world will be a better place.

On a lighter note, Taylor and I have some exciting news that is going to make next season 100 times more manageable. We hired two full-time employees to join us here at Tumbleweed. I can’t take the damn grin off of my face! Life just got a whole lot better.

If you follow along on Instagram  you’ve already seen a few sneak peaks at the harvest dinner we put on at the farm last weekend. It was a wonderful event that celebrated the end season food along with some tasty pork that we slow cooked for the occasion. I’m going to do a full post on the dinner in the next few weeks but for now I want to slowly ease into a new schedule with the blog (I want to be more present here) and get even more good recipes your way.

I hope wherever this post finds you that you’re enjoying the flavors of the fall and hopefully getting to slow down a bit and cozy up with some comfort food with people you love.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.

All of the above photos were taken from my talented friend Kate Schawger.



Leave a Reply

16 thoughts on “The Farm Diaries October 2017

  1. Julie says:

    always love reading your posts and seeing the photos. Yeah for the new full time photos !! Looking for to the post and more photos of the harvest dinner enjoyed the ones on Instagram.

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for following along Julie! xo

  2. dana says:

    Such lovely news and so well said. So glad it’s been another successful season for you. Glad we got to be a part of the CSA. xoxo!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for rooting us along Dana and for being a rock star CSA member! We love you and John. xoxoxo

  3. Paige Beck says:

    Beautiful post! I know from reading your cookbook that you were a vegetarian, and as a long time vegetarian turned recent meat eater myself, your post was beautifully written about the life cycle of all things. Thank you for your beautiful writing and for sharing your experiences. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you again!

    1. Andrea says:

      Paige, thank you for following along. I’m glad this post resonated with you. It’s so important to know where our food comes from and I’m happy to know you’re eating meat again. Thanks for the kind words. xoxo

  4. Leesa says:

    This is such a beautiful and heart-warming post. I feel transported to the farm, and much closer to the earth’s natural cycles just having read it. I can almost smell the rich soil on the vegetables from these gorgeous photos!
    I have followed your farm for a few months now, and I feel so lucky to have found this resource. My husband and I plan to relocate to Oregon next Spring, and we are already on the edge of our seats to find out if we’ll get a place in your CSA! But either way, we plan to continue supporting you through any means that we can.
    I learned a bit about the mistreatment of commercial farmers when in graduate school for nutrition, and it is such a hidden horror. Thank you for bringing light to it in a public setting and reminding us that local food is always best!
    Lots of love and gratitude to you both! Have a wonderful and restful winter <3

    1. Andrea says:

      Leesa, thank you so much for your kind words. xoxoxoxo

  5. Buffy says:

    I really enjoyed what you had to say today. I try so hard to always think about what and who is behind what I put in my mouth (and on my body). Well said

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you for reading along. xoxo

  6. Jean Husson says:

    It is really great to see you both looking and sounding so positive and happy. Congratulations on working hard and living well.

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks so much Jean! Hope the fall weather is treating you well back in Concord! xoxoxo

  7. Carlos At Spoonabilities says:

    Love the photo, stories and the wonderful and natural way how you live. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. Bekah says:

    Love the photos and seeing what’s happening there, Andrea! I’m so grateful that you put a paragraph in there about the importance of local food! I feel like it’s so easy for people to think that buying organic from our big supermarket is enough and just fine, but then we forget that most of that food was trucked hundreds and thousands of miles. Buying local is key – not only for the health of the earth and our bodies, but also for the health of our relationships. What a joy to know your farmers. Keep up the good work! Excited to see posts on the pork!!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for the kind words Bekah! I’m happy that this post resonated with you. It’s so important to know where our food comes from and how animals and people are treated throughout the whole process.

  9. Lauren says:

    Thanks for using your platform to remind the world where their food comes from and what it takes to grow it, ship it, package it, etc. Really love this one girl. Well done <3

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