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Monday, July 14, 2014

Woman and Machine

view from my favorite cultivating tractor
Have I talked about how much I love tractors?  I must have.  But maybe I haven’t yet, this season.  I love tractors.  I love the noises they make.  They rumble and hum and if you listen closely there is so much that a tractor will tell you about the task you are working on together.  I love the way the soil sounds as the tractor pulls plow blades, discs, or shanks through the fields.  The blending of the sounds of the whirling tractor combined with the earth flipping and turning, all muted through my ear protection is like listening to the album, ‘graceland;’ exciting and soothing and familiar and makes you want to smile and dance.   On tractors I am quiet and focused.  I have to be. It’s dangerous to drive tractors.  I have to be present and breathing and aware of both everything around me and only what is exactly in front of me.   On tractors I am strong even when my body isn’t.  On tractors, I kill weeds.  

I love tractors, but I hate when they break.  (this is only partly true, but I’ll get to that later).  And the other night, on a Thursday night after distribution, I sprinted out from the closing barn door to launch into a tractor seat for some late night work on our precious tomato crop.  Our tomatoes are prone to a fungus referred to as “late blight.”  So a couple times a season I spray the rows with a protective copper spray to shield them from the fungus that can take whole fields down in a matter of days.  I like to do this at night and all at once and swiftly and accurately.  And at the end of an already twelve hour work day, I have to be particularly focused.   

Well, so focused I was on finishing the task, that I forgot to fill the tank on the tractor, so I ran out fuel and then proceeded to incorrectly bleed my diesel engine, something I’ve done dozens of times. Yes, I am saying that this farmer, made one of those mistakes at the end of a long day that just makes you sad and frustrated and feel a bit ridiculous.   There I was, in full spraying gears: goggles, my handkerchief up around my mouth, ear protection on, sweat building up under my long-sleeved shirt as I grew impatient with myself.  The tractor was broken. And I wasn’t going to be able to fix it in that moment.  It was now 8:30pm.  There was pizza waiting inside for me, getting as cold as my face grew hot.  I finally gave in, tore off my gear and left a bucket under the tractor where the fuel was now escaping.  

Standing there, hot and worn and wishing I hadn’t cranked so hard on that bolt, I grabbed my teal bike with the basket and headed up towards the barn for the parts manual to the tractor.  I shut the fields’ gates as I rode and let out some long breaths.  At the barn, I tossed the thick blue and white manual into the basket and started to ride back , manual bouncing with each turn of the pedals.  Then I noticed the light, the sky, the orange and pink and stretched out clouds and the barn and fields were lit up and my face was now reflecting the light of the dying sun instead of my impatience with myself.  The land was soothing me and now I was smiling at this absurd moment; so much frustration set to such a gorgeous sight.  The days come and go and are beautiful and full of light and unexpected wonderful minutes as much as they are filled with mistakes and frustrations.   And sometimes tractors break.  And then they can be fixed, but that story is for another time.

look what tractors can do!

See you out in the fields! Maybe I’ll be on a tractor.

our oldest Cub. 1949.

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew


What’s in the share (most likely):

Full: lettuce, cukes, squash, onions, scallions, beets, carrots, fennel or kohlrabi, 
basil, cilantro, choice of greens
Small: lettuce, cukes, squash, onions or scallions, fennel or kohlrabi, choice of herbs, choice of greens, choice of roots

PYO: favas, herbs

Events and Awesomeness at the farm this week:

Tuesday: Jordan Brother's Seafood vendor...during pick up! 
(he's been running out by 6pm..some come early!)
Friday: 2pm-3pm volunteer in the flower garden during: Flower Power Hour!
Saturday: 8am-noon: volunteer in the fields with the farmers! All welcome

This Week in the Stand:

Meal Planning Made Easy
We’re introducing a new product in the Farm Stand this week: Farm2Fork Kits! These are kits put together by a small group in Wellesley, looking to provide creative and nutritious meals for folks that participate in CSAs. You take your kit, you take your CSA veggies, throw them together and boom: dinner. We’ve chosen just a few to try out, based on what veggies we’re currently pulling out of the field. The crew has taken these home and sampled them for you and it turns out they are as easy and delicious as you would hope. A favorite stand out is the farro and kale kit, but it’s  also hard to top a tasty zucchini bread, especially as our fridges start filling up with pounds of summer squash. Let us know what you think!

Get Yer Pies!
It’s pie week again, and we’ll be bringing in a small number of pies for purchase in the Stand. This round’s sweet flavor? Blueberry lavender with a cornmeal almond crumb. It sounds ridiculously delicious. Available this Thursday and Saturday this week!

1 comment:

  1. What a cool blog!!! I have not met many fellow women who love tractors. Actually, I thought I was the only one! Have you seen I recently stumbled upon the site and it has given me so much great information regarding all things tractors! Just a thought for a fellow tractor lover!!!

    Heidi Sutton @ Ag Source Magazine