Celebrating Summer

Saturday’s summer party was a celebration that exceeded all expectations. It encapsulated much of what Judy and Tom have long dreamed this farm could be, and left me so excited I had a difficult time getting to sleep afterwards. I am sorry not to have any photos to share; I guess we were too busy enjoying the moment to record it.

Thank you to all who were able to join us. Your enthusiasm for this special place is a strong reminder of the treasure we have here, a treasure that was never meant to be hoarded but to be shared. We try to live out this sharing every week with our vegetable pick-ups, and again with the fall pick-up and harvest party, but with the summer party we are able to keep the focus on the beauty of the farm, the lake, and our relationships with one another.

The farm was flooded with kids, spread amongst the beach, the trampoline, the “sports field” (baseball and croquet were the faves), and, of course, the barnyard. I am one of those many people who did not grow up with farm animals (or 4-legged pets), so I can understand the novelty and excitement the kids feel to gather eggs or to help Judy feed the chickens, pigs, and sheep. Having city kids make themselves at home and delight in the pleasures of the farm is truly heartwarming. We were especially pleased that several families invited other children to join them in the adventure.

Nobody realized just quite how many children were here until we gathered in the hall for supper. As somebody quipped, “every table was a kids’ table.” As usual, the potluck was a veritable feast. And although we were longing for rain for the gardens, we were pleased that the sun stayed out to allow us to set up overflow tables and chairs outside the hall. Once the children had eaten, the adults were able to join together at fewer tables, and delightful visiting ensued. We could not have asked for a lovelier gathering.

Not to forget the heart of the farm, Sunday followed with two vegetable pick-ups. With our enthusiastic members (including more crews of enthusiastic children), we harvested bags of orach, lettuce, turnip greens, cress, dill, coriander, summer savory, parsley, mint, green onions, and rhubarb to send back to members from the Battlefords, Saskatoon, and Jackfish Lake. Saskatoon members also received spinach and arugula, since they didn’t get any last week, but we forgot their mint. Sorry, we’ll double you up next week!

If you are wondering which of the little greens are which, the cress is tightly curled, and is often used in potato salad.

IMG_3409The arugula has lobed leaves and packs a bit of bite. We love to add a few finely chopped leaves to a lettuce salad.

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The turnip greens are slightly fuzzy. They can be eaten raw, but if you’d prefer them less fuzzy, you’re best to cook them lightly. Stir frying works well.

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The crew from Saskatoon got to sample our first pea harvest (about a dozen peas all together!) but we are hoping the bit of rain we finally got last night and a few days of cooler weather will help the plants along. And now, with the sun back out and the breeze drying things out, I am off to pull a few more weeds!

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