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Garlic Scape Pea Tendril Pesto

After years of hearing customers at the markets rave about Garlic Scape Pesto, we finally made some and it totally lived up to all the hype! Even Joel, who is famously anti-pesto wanted seconds.

Garlic Scapes are the flowers of the garlic plants, they start growing in an upwards direction but quickly take a nose dive then back up and back down until someone notices them . Once the scapes start making their loopyloops we start walking up and down each of the garlic rows pulling them out. One, because we want to eat them. But mostly because we want to trick the garlic bulb into growing more. We planted over 110 pounds of garlic last fall, so needless to say we have A LOT of scapes.

I found a recipe from motherearthnews.com and adapted it to fit the ingredients we had available. Here is what they called for:

  • 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes (10-12 roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 Bag of Pea Tendrils (3 ozs)
  • 1 Bunch of Basil
  • 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan

We didn’t have any other nuts besides peanut butter and cheese besides cheddar so I went for it and was not disappointed. I also added juice from half a lemon. Throw all those ingredients in a food processor or immersion blender and voila!

To make it vegan, use nutritional yeast. And to make it nut-free use sunflower seeds/butter.

So far I have enjoyed the Pesto on pasta, scrambled eggs, crackers, salad and toast! So, basically everything I’ve eaten since I made it last night.

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It Can’t Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis, in 1935 wrote a dystopian novel about a want to be American dictator who rises to power much like Adolf Hitler did in Germany. There’s been much written about the threat to democracy lately and for good reason. I’d like to reference a recent article in The New Yorker by Susan Glasser. Here’s the link. I don’t actually know if you’ll be able to view it if not a subscriber, but I think you can.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-bidens-washington/american-democracy-isnt-dead-yet-but-its-getting-there?utm_campaign=cm&utm_source=crm&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_SubPersRec_020520&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bea0f103f92a404695d3e06&cndid=44577949&hasha=a8bae82104ddcae98c6ae804ac85e509&hashb=1f83627dcdd5b8850bcbbce335c34c4b08764631&hashc=ef08fa421749567f671865d6233e099f34723180ba317fb3c0f8cab1c3504b00&utm_term=NYR_Pers_Recom_2021-06-02

In Hitler’s rise to power, we see many people warning others of the danger that Germany was going in. It did not help. In the end, millions of German citizens embraced all of Hitler’s heinous notions of how the world should evolve from here on in. Many of his assertions, particularly the concept that Jewish people are inferior to the Ayrian race was just a statement. There was no proof behind any of it. But Hitler understood the power of suggestion and the weak spots in the German citizenry and was able to mobilize and create a threat to world democracy never seen before in history.

Now, today in America we see every day a total departure from reality. How do I list the ways. The election was stolen from Trump. He’s going to go back to the White House and become President in August. The January 6th attack on the Capitol was merely a bunch of tourist and there’s no reason (according to Mitch) to scrutinize the event. It would serve no purpose.

And now the ex President is attacking vigorously Anthony Fauci and trying to vilify him. That right there should set up warning bells for all of us. Dr. Fauci has worked endlessly and tirelessly through out the pandemic. Further, Dr. Fauci has stuck to real science-a subject that every Republican should go back to revisit. It doesn’t matter what the subject or concept that you want to push on the American people, if you’ve got the platform (and DJT surely does) then you can get anyone to think almost anything. There’s going to be a long list of Republicans who get on the anti-Fauci Bandwagon

And that’s where we are. Republicans are insisting that the Dems are Socialist, ignore science in general, doing everything that they can think of suppress the POC vote because they know that they don’t have the real votes, so they’re going to figure out ways make the vote work for them. And remember, inspite of the insistence that voter fraud is robust from Republicans, there has been not one shred of credible evidence to show this to be true.

And one last thing, it was shown today that DJT tried to use the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 national election. The DOJ is suppose to be an independent arm of government and should not have to answer to the President. That is one of the strong ways to help keep democracy strong.

I know now, that everyone that reads what I’m thinking is somewhat closely aligned with what I’m saying. There was a time, when I’d be loosing 5-10 people a week. These are people who’d rather do without great food (or get it from another farmer, who’s not so vocal!) rather than hear an opinion. But everyone, the warning flags are out there-everywhere. Democracy is on the line. If you don’t believe it, than you’re not paying close enough attention. And I mean that in a friendly way. Please, if you don’t agree with that, look again.

Have a great week. Star Light is shining day and night. We feel lucky to help feed you

Namaste,

David

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Tomato Pruning Refresher

It’s Tomato Jungle Season around here now. We figured this would be a good time to give some quick tips on pruning your tomato plants so you get the most out of them. Pruning will increase airflow, giving leaves and fruit more room to breath. Most importantly, it allows the plants to concentrate their energy on creating bigger, better tomatoes!

All of the plants we plant and sell are indeterminate, this means they will grow as tall as they possibly can. So, some sort of support is necessary. We hang strings from the top of the hoop houses, but a tomato cage or stake would work fine too. Next we train the plants down to two to four main leaders. These are like the brain of the plant. To determine the leaders we look for the ones that are the thickest, and have the most well established blossoms. Once the leaders are chosen, the rest are suckers. Suckers grow from the armpit of the leaders. See picture below.

Suckers get their bad rep because they can suck the energy out of the plant. If left unkempt, tomato plants could have many,many leaders but still a limited amount of energy to produce fruit. By removing suckers the tomato plant only has to focus on a few leaders and their fruits. This results in large fruits and yields.

Once you’ve decided on the leaders and have removed the suckers, make sure to also clean up the bottom of the plant. We like to remove the bottom 4 inches or so of foliage so the plants have more airflow and there is less room for disease.

Before
After

There is a ton of information out there on tomato pruning. And of course, feel free to reach out to us with any questions! Happy Gardening!

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There’s Only One Way To Say It: Republican’s Are Hypocrites

I don’t like having to write the words above, but the the truth of this is unescapable. Most of our republican representatives and senators have had to retreat from previous positions about Number 45 in order to protect their seats. On January 6th of this year, one of the most scary attacks on our democracy took place. It would seem that we are left with countless questions about his role in what happened. Numerous people arrested that day are going to use the defensive that they were just following orders from their president. And, this might just get them off, too! One of the most intriguing questions that need to be answered is what conversation took place between Rep. McCarthy and 45. There seems to be little doubt that McCarthy begged the president to go on the media and tell all these people to go home. Trump’s response apparently, was something to the effect that “well Kevin, these people seem to care a lot more about the results of the election than you do.” Not the exact quote, but close enough. After that, we’d just have to find out from the representative himself-under oath. But that looks like it will never happen because there probably won’t be enough republicans in the senate to over ride the filibuster rule so that a motion to have a January 6th Commission will never happen. How could a group such as the republicans want to turn their backs on a full disclosure of the events that day? I guess that the answer is simple-the truth will not look good for them. I.E.-going to lose my job. There were many many senators, including Mitch McConnell who did not vote to impeach #45 because they wished to have a commission look at all this in an unbiased manner. Here’s what Representative McCarthy said at the time of the impeach vote:  “I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” said McCarthy. “No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held….” Where did that position disappear, too?

Republicans are creating an alt universe around this day. For example, Representative Andrew Clyde (R- GA) now refers to January 6th as a “normal tourist visit” but there is also some footage of him frantically screaming and barricading doors to the House gallery. What gives? Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC) actually , inspite of the fact that the protestors were wearing both Trump and MAGA hats, questioned whether they were Trump supporters. Representative Ron Johnson (R-WI) declared the whole thing largely a “peaceful protest”. What do you make of all this? I call it hypocrisy. These legislatures are trying to hid the real truth from you and me and in the process of doing this are creating an alt universe. A universe that stands a good chance of being embraced by enough people to make it stick.

And of course there’s the recount in Maricopa County, Arizona. These ballots have already been counted numerous times and approved by the Republican run legislature . Plus, in case you haven’t already heard, the organization that is doing the recount is incompetent. Look at their name for starters-  Cyber Ninjas. This “recount” is just one more effort to put in doubt an undispuptable fact- Joe Biden won the election and there has never been any evidence of voter fraud.

So, for myself, I am overwrought with the real feeling that republicans are going to keep throwing lies and voter suppression laws at us. And while the majority of the people are not with the party, because of their strangle hold on both courts and the judiciary , that they will have their way. And, as I’ve mentioned before part of “having their way” is to make sure that POC will not have a chance to attain equity in this country until we’re done with this way of doing things. So, I’m making an offer to anyone who believes the republicans aren’t the way I’ve described them. This offer won’t change the world, but it will help me understand how people thinking this way are thinking. Here’s the deal (to paraphrase Joe). If you believe that the republicans are not hypocrites about the potential January 6th Commission -i’m offering you FREE bok choi for the rest of the growing season. In return, you’ll agree to have a civilized, rational conversation with me , so I can understand your point of view. Might be two conversations-we’ll see. We’ll see what shakes out.

In the meantime, just know that we’re having an amazing season. A great crew and lots of help from the wind , rain and the sun.

Namaste,

David

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It’s Blatantly Simple-But Really Hard To Get Rid Of

Lately, the world seems very easy to explain. White men have , for hundreds of years, done everything that they can to keep POC from owning, benefiting from or enjoying what our society has to offer. At first, they blocked the way by thinking that they owned African Americans. That they are merely possessions, and thought of as sub human. When slavery ended, Southern White land owners had several methods to keep African Americans from benefiting from the system. Because these whites saw a danger from the black vote, whereby African Americans could help improve schools,, roads, and medical infa-structure – they invented the Jim Crow laws that kept most if not all POC from being able to vote. Additionally, the KKK was used as a scare and intimidation tactic. Dressed in white robes and evoking the ghost of dead confederate soldiers, it caused a continuation of the trauma that African Americans had already suffered for the past 400 years. And as a side note here, it is essential to point out that trauma such as this is passed on from generation to generation. In other words, it is true that a modern day African American man or woman has “inherited” the trauma that their ancestors suffered previously. But back to the Jim Crow era, it was obvious that white people (mostly men, I would assume) did not want “their” money being spent to improve the lives of this whole class of people who’s lives have already been limited by the power of these men.

Tracing this behavior to later years, we already know a lot. During the world wars, African American served fiercely in defending the country, however this was only rewarded with “Red lining”. Red lining was an insidious system that prevented everyone except whites from enjoying the benefits of home ownership. It helped create whole areas of cities and towns that were just off limit to POC. Additionally, loans were close to impossible to get unless one was white. Again, a “legal” effort to prevent African American people to gain material assets.

In reality, whole books have been written on this subject, so I don’t pretend to be able to get it all down. However, one last thing. Red lining, lead to making specific areas of a city into zones of intolerable air quality-air that could shorten or hamper the lives of those that lived in these areas. This would be in the form of power plants or perhaps meat processing. Asthma is, sadly, all to common in these areas. And length of lives is statistically much shorter. This is yet another way that the racist system works to keep the wealth with whites.

Ok. I know I said one last thing but sorry, this also needs to be said. How often do you hear people complain about “welfare queens”? Do these people not realize that welfare is no easy ride? With real affordable daycare and decent well paying jobs many of these woman would gratefully look at these alternatives. And besides, there are more white “welfare queens”, anyway.

But lets switch gear and talk carrots. Yes, I know that I hyped them last week, but since then I’ve had carrots almost every day of the week. As a result, my mind is sharper, more witty and also my memory has vastly improved. Its hard to believe that just one week could bring up such a change and yet…. So, its not like we’re going to run out of carrots shortly, its just that these carrots have benefited from wintering over, having been planted last November. The biggest benefit would be their memorable sweet flavor. Its also true that we’re (as far as I know. So tell me, if I”m wrong), the only farm offering fresh carrots at this time. Just saying…..

For those who’ve asked- my recovery has been only positive. Jen and Joel have run the farm with little if any help from me. Occasionally, Joel will ask me a question about something, but largely, I think that’s just to make me feel wanted. Good move, Joel.

Our farm flourishes. Just a quick look around and one can see the benefits of these two very hard working farmers. Thank you, both.

Namaste,

David

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Liz Cheney: “I’m SO sorry!”

What can one do with a country that has turned truth inside out? The election, which Biden won clearly, has now been cleverly named”THE BIG LIE”. This term, of course, was originally pulled out of WWll vintage and used correctly by the Dems to describe how Republicans mutilated truth. With not a shred of evidence and over 60 thrown out lawsuits, with the Ex-President in the lead (trying to avoid using his name), the Republicans insisted that they had won and by a landslide. And after that, of course came the absolutely embarrassing moment when the Republicans refused to accept the official results from certain states. If I was a Republican, I’d be red faced beyond all recognition. And that event came upon the heels of the storming of the capitol. But you all know this. What fascinates and horrifies me is how DJT took (or grabbed) the phrase “The Big Lie” and folded it into his own language. Now, to the Republicans, they refer to TBL as what the Dems have done. There’s no evidence here, my friends. None. I’ll give DJT credit for figuring out a great way for this all to work in his favor. He’s good at that. One can only assume that at this point, he relishes the fight more than the principle. This maybe what he gets his most thrills from. Just a theory, but I like it.

Now, after several weeks we’re seeing the fallout from these positions. Republicans are circling up and trying not to leave holes in their vulnerability. And this is where Liz Cheney gets caught. Let me be clear about her- this is not a politician who’s views on things I embrace. Her percentage of voting in accord with Trump is in the 95% range. She’s been loyal to him in most things. But her integrity hit a wall when it came to the election and the January 6th Insurrection. Cheney believed that DJT’s role in he January 6th event deserved consequences. Soon after that, she was one of just a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach the President. And, subsequent to that, she endured a four hour meeting of legislatures (all men) who tried to get her to apologize for her position-which she refused. Liz Cheney will surely lose her position of third most powerful Republican in the House because of her views. I admire her for standing her moral ground. That is more than I can say for the rest of the party. They are the ones who are perpetuating TBL. All of them have betrayed their oath of allegiance to our country over party. They should be ashamed, but I know they are not.

With the last President, we came so close to losing our democracy. Now, between the political assassination of Liz Cheney and the recent onslaught of voter suppression laws in at least five states, I find myself more worried than ever. When Biden beat the former president, a big relief was felt by so many of us. Political situations never just stay stagnant, and so now, just a few days north of Biden’s first hundred days, we find ourselves looking at a Republican Party who’s main goal is to protected the rich, make it harder than ever for people of color to vote, and turn their back on the needy. In other words, a plunge back into Reaganism. This is all with the backdrop of the majority of the American people being in favor of Biden’s direction. Republicans just do what’s best for Republicans.

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It All Seems Simple, But Scary

Greetings,

Thank you to those of you who responded to my question from last week. Everything took a small turn when my friend was advised to do nothing for her own safety. I get that. So we’re going to leave the question alone for a while.

This week, you’ll have a chance to join our 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Carrot Raffle. All proceeds will go to Unidad Latina en Acción from New Haven. This organization is fighting hard to get benefits to undocumented immigrants. For me, its shocking that our government can turn their backs on whole families who are in dire need of real help.

Let’s briefly talk about the quality of the carrots you’ll be winning. These are the carrots that we started way back in November of 2020. Before the year was up, they germinated and grew at an incredibly slow pace. With great determination, we cultivated them, weeded them and watered them since then. Now, over 5 months later, the first bunch will be harvest. You can count on there being a good supply of our carrots starting next week. There are a few things that you should know about these carrots. First off, crunchy and sweet. Very, in both instances. But most importantly, they come with an iron clad guaranteed to make you jump up in the air with delight. Its that simple. I should know because one of my other names is The Carrot Scientist-a term given to me by a young lad who couldn’t understand how we could make a carrot taste that good. (Ok, full disclosure, he was talking about Tomatoes, but it seemed ok to adapt the phrase for carrots, too. If anyone objects to my poetic license here, write me and we’ll discuss the matter.) Remember, this raffle is designed to raise money (all proceeds to ULA) for an extremely important cause-people who are living 20-30 minutes from you who are hoping for the same benefits as all the other citizens.

The title of this page says it all. I’m beginning to see the world in a much more basic , simplistic way. And I’m hoping that I can explain this idea to you with brevity. It use to be during Lincoln’s time that the Republican Party was interested in helping individuals. That government’s role is to help and assist whenever needed. This idea got lost on Republicans soon after that and it wasn’t until FDR came alone that we see a return to this philosophy. And this was in a big way. In his first 100 days in office, he passed 76 bills, all aimed at helping a shaken and needing American people. His programs provided a sense of purpose to the many who found themselves out of work (25% or more). The purpose was for government to be the helping hand when it was so needed.

Several decades later, Reagan took things way around to the other side and declared that the problem was big government. His 8 years in office were marked with deliberate dismantlings of any program that would help common people. The general idea was that Americans can do anything they want if they try hard enough and that there were too many programs who were designed to create “welfare queens”. Bill Clinton didn’t help much in this score either.

Trump embraced everything that Reagan stood for and upped the ante 3 or 4 times. I’ll just leave you with one aspect of Trumps tomfoolery. When the pandemic struck hard (and he minimized the severity of it because he didn’t want to look bad), instead of creating a viable way for all states to get what they needed, he put them all at odds with each other. No cooperation, no sense of the welfare of nation as a whole-none of that. It was kind of an extension of American First, but instead it was each state first.

President Biden has returned us to the philosophy of FDR-government needs to help the people when they need help. His packages should work well to restore an economic balance to our country. He’ll surely make mistakes, but I believe we are looking at the first transformative President in over 75 years. I’m hoping that the Dems can hold onto the House and Senate for the mid terms. The Republican Party does not listen to the majority of the people and in fact are the minority but have learned how to control things anyways.

Have a great week. Our choices are getting wider and wider every week. Check out the whole store and enjoy what you see.

Namaste,

David

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We Shouldn’t Be Quiet

My friend from across the river presented me with a problem that on some level we’ve all been faced with. She lives in a somewhat congested area, where one’s neighbor’s house is right on top of the next person’s. In other words, everyone knows what everyone else is up to. My friend knows that I’ve been reading incessantly about race, racism and equity, so this particular problem seemed like something that I’d have an immediate reaction to it. Her next door neighbor recently hung a confederate flag across his front door for all the world to see. Now , of course, he legally has a right to do so,but a few thing jumped out at me. First of all, it is a reasonable assumption that the guys is an enthusiastic racist. Second, he probably hates Jews(my friend is Jewish) as well. Thirdly, he has no sense of the horror and pain that the image of the confederate flag causes when displayed in public. In other words, this is an individual that has racist views that are more important to him then any pain he might be inflicting elsewhere.

My friend’s question was simply “what to do, here?”. This was my response. Of utmost important is to be safe. People like my friend’s neighbor could be volatile. In fact, she has evidence that this is the case based on his reactions to other goings on in the neighborhood in the past. Having said that, there’s also the important fact that we can not remain silent when faced with such blatant symbols of racism. We can’t. Another important factor, my friend will never convince this person to think otherwise. Ok. Putting all that together, it is my opinion that she, my friend could tell this guy how his display of the confederate flag makes her feel and that she’d be open to talk to him about it, if the conversation could remain civil. Otherwise, there’s her opinion-take it or leave it.

There’s bravery in speaking up. And sometimes, the circumstances that require one to speak out will surprise you. This is, of course is just one of many confrontations with racism that we are met with. If you’re a POC, the rate of that confrontation is unquestionably that much higher. Work situations, family gatherings etc. all are places of challenge.

Write me back and let me know what you’d do. These small situations can become building blocks to bigger solutions. I’ll publish some of your ideas the following week.

In other news, next week, we’ll be auctioning off the first bunch of carrots of the season. As I’ve said before, we are very very proud of our successful early carrot campaign. These carrots are literally crawling with sweet flavor and crunchy texture. Guaranteed to make you leap in the air with delight. Guaranteed. The proceeds of the raffle will go again to Unitad Latina de Accion from New Haven. This mighty organization is trying to help the undocumented in CT enjoy the same benefits as our other citizens. So, that’s next week.

Lastly, recovery is the word for me. Its going to take a while, but everything is going in the right direction. Thank you for your well wishes.

Namaste,

David

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Affordable? I Sincerely Doubt It

We are (and I’m just reporting here, not bragging) kicking butt. Spring, as you know, has a way of exploding onto the scene-literally an avalanche of bursting buds, new flowering trees and radishes. Let’s not forget the radishes! Its hard to keep up with how exciting this time of year is. And to add to, we’ve now got way over a hundred tomato plants in the ground in Sven (named after grandchild number 3). For the next several weeks, we’ll slowly be filling it up with both cherry tomato plants and Juliets (the famous ones). And in between the rows, we’ll do lettuce, turnips and radishes. Kind of making the soil do double time work. But as long as we are respectful to the soil (and we are), I’ve never seen it refuse to come thru for us. Soil, is like an engine- needs fuel in order to operate. We are constantly loosening soil, adding compost, alfalfa and organic fertilizer. Come to think of it, soil is just like a border collie, loves to and needs to work and gets despondent if it can’t do its job. And that’s what’s so beautiful about organic farming. Its sustainable beyond ones wildest imagination, just feed the soil and the soil will feed us. Its a beautiful relationship- so lets not messed it up.

Both Middlefield and Durham have begun looking at the issue of affordable housing. Its a state mandate. But the mandate is only to “look at the issue”. It doesn’t say that both towns will come up with action on this. Let’s be candid here, affordable housing to some people means that figuring out a way for more people of lesser means to be able to live in each town. And to be even more candid, it sounds to a lot of people that this is an effort to have those people of lesser means to be POC. Along with this line of thinking is a common theme that allowing certain people in the town would alter the “character of the town”. The zoning in both towns is 2 acres. Obviously, 2 acre zoning puts the purchase price out of many people,including POC. This can be tricky because maybe the 2 acres zoning is about the proper square footage for septic fields and drilled wells. That, I can’t comment on with any authority. And, if this was the case, then there are ways to design existing homes to include an affordable rental apartment, or duplexes. It can be done but only if there’s a will for it. At the informational meeting for Durham a few weeks back, I actually heard someone on the zoom say that they didn’t understand why people of lesser means had to look in Durham, when there are so many other options out there. Going to go out on a limb here and speculate that there are many of our fellow citizens who are feeling threatened by the prospect of people who are not white moving into our town and “changing the character”. There’s that phrase again. I, for one would welcome a change from an all white (or nearly so) town. This subject is not going to just go away and when we’re faced with figuring out how to provide real affordable housing here, we need to assume that there are ways to make this work, we just need to work hard to arrive there. I recommend reading the report that the consulting agency wrote about affordable housing which debunked all the common myths that people hold. Property values do not go down, duplexes can look and function great. Apartments in existing buildings are also great ways to make our towns more affordable. Our towns would be richer and more rewarding for everyone. Our children (who are mostly white) would also benefit from diversity. I’m guessing that it wouldn’t be impossible that these notions that have I’ve written about might offend some people, while others will hopefully agree. My intention is only to help move the conversation along, so that when there’s an opportunity to diversify our town, we might be able to do so. I hope so.

Thank you to all of you who joined our raffle last week to benefit Unidad Latina en Acción New Haven. This amazing organization is dedicated to helping the undocumented Latino population with both day to day situations and legal problems. We are, thru this raffle support those among us who need that extra help. You are all wonderful.

Please stay safe. The pandemic is still alive and dangerous for many of us. Consider, if you haven’t already, to get the shot. Dr. Faucci recommends it.

Namaste,

David

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Seeing Is More Than Believing

We’re doing a raffle this week of a small jar (8oz) of maple syrup that we made right here on the farm. Homemade syrup is so much flavorful than stuff you buy at the store! Our syrup takes on a smokey quality, which I find close to heaven. All proceeds will go towards helping our Undocumented friends get through the pandemic. Please consider taking a small chance and buying a ticket.

I’m going to forewarn you that this blog will again be about voter suppression. But before diving into that, let’s talk about the farm. I’m not bragging, but reporting when I write that we’re already on the top of our game. Remarkable, considering that it isn’t yet April. Except for recent years, we’d start making the ground ready for seeds around the beginning of April. And yet, this year, we’ve already planted so much over the past few weeks. This is largely due to two things. First, would be Joel and Jen’s aggressive approach to early planting. Second, having low tunnels outside really pays off. Because they’re protected from continual rains, it is substaintially drier, earlier under the low tunnels, making the ground ready to receive either plants or seeds so much faster than unprotected ground. The result is that we are now even more loaded with greens, both salad, braising greens, kale, and spinach than we were last week. Which means more supply for all of you. Hopefully, there were few disappointments in the “sold out” department last week.

In a few weeks, we’ll be making available vegetable, flower and herb starts for your own gardens. I’m not sure exactly what we do to make the tomato plants work out so well, but consistently, people are telling me at market that ours has worked out so much better than anything else they’ve tried. Again, just reporting, not bragging. (well, sort of!)

Our stand of carrots in the High Tunnel is really starting to “root” up. I’ll go down there to pull a few, because they need a bit of thinning and am surprised by how big the carrots already are. If you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, a bunch of our carrots is perfect and so welcomed. Better in some ways than a bouquet of flowers, which you can’t eat.

I bought a new toy for Star Light last week. Its a temperature sensor that will alert me (or Joel) by a phone call if the furnace fails in either the tomato house or the nursery. There’s a sensor that will send a signal to my phone if the furnace breaks,putting our plants in jeopardy. Although somewhat expensive, it is also true that a broken furnace can cause the death of hundreds of our tomato plants. With a quick alert , we’re in a great position to fix the furnace problem on the spot. In the past, I’ve had the awful experience of getting up some cold morning in April and go out to the house and find that for one reason or another, the furnace had quit, leaving rows of frozen toms. That’s a sickening feeling. I felt that the world had ended. Luckily, tom plants are resilient and eventually new leaves would come out of the main stalk. However, now we’ve lost weeks of great growth. This system will help prevent that.

Ok. About Voter Suppression. This note will only mean something to you if you believe that every person registered to vote should be able to easily vote without tremendous hardship. Recently, Governor Kemp of Georgia has passed a “Voter Reform” law that limits the days, hours and places where one can over. Mail in balloting, something that is a boon to older or limited financial means voters, has become even more difficult. There’s also a provision to limit a person’s ability to vote based on their literacy ability. And most curious, there’s a penalty to anyone bringing food and water to people waiting in the voting lines. Does anyone have a plausible reason for such laws? If I was a legislature , I’d be thinking of good ways to help people get to the polls, rather than a million ways to prevent people from voting. Georgia is just one of several states that are trying to churn out ways to keep people away from the polls. And let me be clear here, the people that they’re targeting are POC. Essentially, this is a Republican move to keep non white people away from voting. For me, a reality is that Republicans are in the minority. The former President (you know who) lost both elections in the popular vote by an impressive margin. Its as if, if you’re the minority, you’ve got the power to make your voice be the one that’s heard. Republicans can see the writing on the wall. Largely a party of whites looking at a change is what’s the majority. A scary thought for them. So therefore, they’ve loaded the courts with their kind of judges and pushing for more and more restrictive voting practices throughout the US.

H.R. 1, or the John Lewis Voting Act is crafted in such a way to get the laws back to the historic Civil Rights Voting Act of 1964, a law that has been gradually shrunk down till it almost means nothing. Earlier in 2013 , the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision gutted section 4 of the Civil Rights Act which would eliminate the need for states to have voting rules ok’d by the federal courts. Southern states particularly had shown themselves unable to leave the voting rights alone in their respective states, making voting more and more impossible for POC. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you’re not getting wet.”

This kind of behavior is pretty easy to understand. Republicans feel like their way of life is being challenged. If they can’t beat the new wave of progressive thoughts at the polls, then they’ll simply try to keep the people away who are going to vote them out. One very direct way to help defend ourselves from this onslaught of legislation is to donate to the ACLU. They are working to combat this way of terrible legislation. And yes , I know that I said I’d touch on affordable housing, but without good voting laws, we’ve got nothing.

I hope you have a great week. Remember to stay safe and continue to practice social distancing. We’re not done yet. But we will be.

Namaste,

David