Into October, days are getting short, nights are cool. The ruthless winds have come out of the North and East, desiccating and drying the landscape. The leaves have begun to fall from the trees as we move through the beginning of fall. It is a glorious time of year, though there is still much work to do.
The seasonal downturn started much earlier for us this year; right now the farm feels like it’s coming into November. The summer crops are just barely lingering on, but the fall and winter crops haven’t fully kicked in yet.
It’s in the seasonal shifts that our production model really depends on the strength of local farm networks. Because we run such an intensive model on such a small space, we’re always making a choice between current and future production. As such, the seasonal transitions become lean times because half of our production starts to trend towards next season.
Partnerships between local farmers create consistent pathways for folks to access local foods. Building routines and habits that include participation in local food systems is the pathway to a shared future of sustainability. Community, economy, ecology; all encompassed in the magic of local food systems.
As community members, each of us looks to fill a niche that provides meaningful employment and a means of positive community engagement. Small communities are well suited for this type of decentralized production, but the industrialized system discourages such methodologies.
It is more sustainable for us to produce the things that we can here, and to import those things which we cannot produce with efficiency. The key question is, “what is efficient?” Under cheap petroleum, we defined efficient as “we grow all the apples in Washington, potatoes in Idaho”.
We must redefine efficiency on a more traditional, localized basis. John and Marbry raise apples and other fruit crops because that is their proclivity and farm capability. Irene does row crops in the valley, we do hot crops and winter greens on terraces in the hills.
Defining efficiency on localized scale enables micro-scale specialization; this is the most efficient potential because it doesn’t rely on massive fuel subsidies and large-scale transportation systems. It still must be done with care and an eye to waste avoidance but localized production systems on small farms are the answer.
The share this week is all about hearty; enjoy potatoes, onions, garlic all roasted up or fried up for homefries/hashed browns. It’s pretty hard to go wrong, even with the little tatoes- they make great soup or roasted taters.
The greens are coming along but slower than we’d hoped. Such is the life on the farm… Much love from Team HappyDay. Great success :)