From the Fields: We’re a Long Way from Mexico!
This post by our resident Farm Steward – Emily Thomson
It may be cold, but what a glorious stretch of dry weather we’ve just had. It makes work so much easier if it’s not muddy, and the plants certainly benefit from the sunlight. Although crews are pared back as the amount of available product decreases, we are still bringing in plenty of good food–parsnips, leeks, Savoy cabbage, Brussels’ sprouts and other winter-hardy vegetables. Plantings of some of these crops will remain in the field into early spring if weather permits, providing something to fill those winter orders when it’s simply too cold for the more tender crops to grow.
Back in the old days–actually, just up until a few years ago–the weekly boxes were packed in the big red barn at the Griffin farm by a colorful crew of mostly local valley kids. Each new employee, no matter what title or duty, spent at least one week learning about Full Circle by packing boxes with the core crew on “the line”.
Back in December 1996, a couple of serious winter storms hit one after the other; power was knocked out across much of the region, and up to two feet of snow on the ground made driving treacherous. Those who were able to make it to work that week were bundled head to toe against the fifteen-degree weather, with winter gloves beneath the disposable food-handling pair to keep fingers nimble.
When the lettuce on the line began to freeze (lettuce being the canary in the coal mine, temperature-wise), we stopped mid-pack and moved the whole operation, with forklifts and strong backs, into one of the greenhouses, where we continued with the help of a propane heater. Still pretty darned cold, but we finished off the week successfully, packing orders for a total, at that time, of about 1700 members. Many of you received those boxes and are still with us today. So much has changed as we’ve grown!