June 8, 2014
Diane and I have spent a chunk of the morning trying figure out where we can get a new Garden Bandit™. This can only mean one thing. The weeds are coming up and something needs to be done about them. We bought our current Garden Bandit™ in Stratford, Ontario a few years back when we were up there for the Shakespeare festival. Stratford might also merit mention in the blog for hosting the Ontario Pork Congress, which will actually be happening next week. Hurry up with your registration, if you were thinking about heading up for either pigs or Perdita. But that’s probably just a tangential thread for this week’s entry.
The weeds are coming up and that can only mean one thing. It is now high Spring in mid- Michigan. I was way up on the shores of Lake Superior last week and I saw plenty of ice in the harbor at Marquette. But then I spent a day at the Michigan State farm in Chatham where it was 86°. Too hot for this time of year, especially in the U.P. We could go off on climate change, but that, too, would just be a tangent. And so I persevere.
It’s high Spring in mid-Michigan and that can only mean one thing. Out of the deep freeze time when we all learned the meaning of the phrase “polar vortex,” it’s now well past the season for planting. In fact the little niblit crops that come in first are now ready for the first harvest. This isn’t a tangent. This is what I sat down this morning to write about.
The early crops are ready for harvest and that can only mean one thing: The first distribution for Thornapple CSA. Yes, we had something like 17 varieties of kale available for members this past week. Don’t look for tomatoes quite yet. Climate change has not progressed that far. But there is now officially “stuff to eat”. Diane and I also bought some cauliflower from the Giving Tree Farm down at the Old Town Farmers’ Market yesterday. So rejoice! Hallelujah!
There is now officially stuff to eat and that can only mean one thing. We are heading into the hiatus season for the Thornapple blog. When the blog was established back in 2009, the premise was that we would publish once a week during the off-season to substitute for the weekly delivery of fresh fruits and veggies that members get from early June right on up through October. Once the weekly pick-ups start, the obligation to deliver a weekly barrage of verbiage is kaput. Of course you will find very few summer weeks when we did not deliver a blog anyway over the last four years. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure you’ll find any. So maybe I’m just blowing smoke here this week. Maybe we’ll be back next week with another thoughtful and titillating essay on food, farming and the quest for ethical spirituality.
But then again, maybe we won’t. That can only mean one thing. You will have to check up on us every week this summer in order to find out.
Paul B. Thompson is the W.K. Kellogg Professor of Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics at Michigan State Unversity