We have started in on the amaranth harvest. This is a bit more labor intensive than imagined. Each amaranth flower holds hundreds of tiny amaranth grains, each flower has to be shaken out into a paper bag/bucket, to collect the grains. Then the grains need to be winnowed from the shaff/flower bits and bugs. Good thing amaranth is a superfood.
On Wednesday we harvested the young roosters. It took four of us a full morning to process 29 birds. This was not something either of us had done before, but we had good friends come help us with the processing and it went quickly and efficiently. It gave us a lot to think about in terms of the true cost of food and small-scale, low-stress livestock processing. We hope to get our thoughts in order and put together a post regarding this – both the experience and the economics – soon.
We’ve been heading to the Farmer’s Market in the Park on Saturday mornings with the bikes loaded up with farm fresh treats, hand harvested with love. It’s important to us to have this direct to consumer market – to be able to sell our produce directly to the people who are going to eat it. For us, this is a big perk of our CSA. Before this full-on farming gig, we both grew to love shopping at local farmer’s markets, having a face to go along with the food we’re buying and directly supporting the local economy. There are still several things we are trying to get used to about being on other side of the table – as producers. But maybe that just takes time. This summer, the market farmers and artisans have become a wonderfully supportive community for us. We’re really fortunate to be in an area with a market, albeit small, it’s pretty fantastic.
And lastly, and completely unrelated to much of anything else.. we discovered there’s a special sort of fun to be had at this time of year, as the tomatoes are in full bounty. At Cycle Farm, as in life, we employ Jacques Lecoq’s (the father of red nose theater) principle skills of le jeu, complicité, and disponsibilité – playfulness, togetherness, and openness. And we’re working towards the eccentric. (Thank you, Sarah-Jane Moody, thank you so so SO very much.)