Interested in Supporting Local Texas Agriculture After the Storm? The Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is raising money to help support our local producers in bouncing back after the storm. If you are interested in donating and learning more, follow this link.
By Farmer Kalina
This past week and a half has been sobering. A reminder of our fragility and our resilience. Leaving the farm last week, I knew that it would look drastically different when I returned. I spent seven days hiding from the storm, no way to reach our fields or do anything more to save our crops than I had already done. I melted snow for water, wore all my layers, and savored the produce I brought home, knowing much of it would be the last for the season. I was uneasy driving onto the farm this morning, I was worried about what I would find. Once I walked into the fields, I put the worry out of my mind and got to work. I uncovered row after row, notebook in hand, making notes about what survived, what didn’t, and what might come back. I looked at the results and hatched a plan to do our best to finish out the winter CSA. We lost a lot, but we were able to save more than I thought we would. I guess our recipe of using our resources, love, and luck was a good one this time. We still have food in the ground, and plenty of space to grow. We have already begun turning over the rows that didn’t make it through the storm, and are making room for the new growth of the spring.
As we all begin to recover, I am more grateful than ever for our community. I have been inspired, watching folks in Austin form quick grassroots disaster relief efforts for their neighbors. I have been encouraged by the omnipresent resilience, support, and positivity of our local farmers. And I have been reminded of the power we have when we come together and take care of one another.
As we continue to recover from the storm in the coming weeks and months, we will need extra hands on the farm. We will soon be very busy planting so that we can get back to offering the beautiful variety of produce and flowers we had. If you would like to volunteer at the farm, we would love your help! Please visit the volunteer section of our website to learn more. One of the wonderful things about being a community farm is that we get to share our work and our bounty with all of you.
While I watched the response of our community this week, I was reaffirmed in my decision to be a farmer. The larger systems we rely on are delicate. This was made clear to us in this storm. As Skip said last week, small is resilient. As a small scale farmer, I get to be a part of a movement that supports both the health and well being of those around me, and the health and well being of the land and ecosystems we are in. I get to do work that I believe in. I get to get to know my local community by sharing food with them. Thank you. Thank you for choosing to support our CSA, your community, and your farmers.
By Farmer Skip
Some days are so perfectly synchronized to events in your life you must take a deep breath before their significance sinks in. Yesterday was one of those days.
It began with removing the row cover from our vegetable fields and assessing last week’s storm damage. Some plants had completely died (broccoli and cabbage); others fared amazingly well (kale and collard and spinach) while some were still hanging in there, their prognosis too soon to call (onions and garlic and leeks). These fields were a microcosm of this entire region and how we all fared to different degrees from last week’s blindsiding destruction, the cost of which is on track to exceed Hurricane Harvey or the Drought of 2011.
The day ended with President Biden marking a terrible milestone, one magnitudes more devastating: half a million people in this country dying from COVID. I can’t think of a moment in my lifetime when a leader seemed made for the moment. Every word Biden uttered was crafted with empathy and sincerity because he had lived through many dark hours himself. Like the hero returning home from a long and arduous journey, he had earned the right to speak on this most solemn occasion. His message was the same one we all could see and hear and feel in Central Texas yesterday — the promise of spring made all the more welcomed and appreciated because of the storm we lived through.
A few hours before the White House ceremony, I was taking Erin’s 83-year-old mom, Elizabeth, to receive her COVID vaccine. Her long-awaited turn had come. The women’s health clinic off Highway 71 was hidden amid a collection of brick buildings I’ve never noticed despite hundreds of trips driving between Austin and Bastrop. This day, I felt like a pilgrim arriving at a holy place, a cheerful, good-news gathering where dozens of volunteer risked their own health to assist the elderly, many of whom arrived in wheelchairs. Every single person here was grateful and gladly patient as Bastrop’s senior citizens made their way through the various stations — signing in, filling out paperwork, listening to CDC messages about the vaccine ,getting the shot, waiting 15 minutes for reaction signs before released. And then home again, protected at last by this virus that has caused so much pain and suffering.
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Honey Roasted Spaghetti Squash: This recipe is a sweet and simple treat! Maybe celebrate this change in weather with a little home brunch! Great paired with poached eggs and sauteed spinach.
Carrot Salad with Parsley and Spring Onions - This recipe highlights the delicious flavors of your carrots, green onions, and parsley!
Kale Lemon Muffins - I know muffins aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you are cooking kale, but in an effort to stay warm last week I baked a lot. I tried this recipe and absolutely loved it! Give it a try!