Hello everyone, Dylan is out of town this week so I am making a humble attempt at a blog entry in his absence.
As you may have noticed, it’s been a little hot this summer! But that didn’t stop Bay Ridge from showing up at Hearty Roots on July 17th to lend some helping hands . . .
With the wacky weather, everything has been growing ahead of schedule at the farm. Garlic on July 17th (as originally scheduled)?? Garlic was soooo July 7th man, get with the progam. Luckily when it comes to farming, pick any day between March and November, and there are a plethora of daily tasks to be done.
So despite the 90 degree weather, cooler, hats, sunscreen and kids were loaded into the minivan and up the Taconic Parkway we went.
One of the great things about visiting the farm is there is space. Lots of open space everywhere. Space to camp if you want. Need somewhere to eat a picnic lunch? Pull up a patch of grass somewhere and get comfortable. Or grab a free picnic table at Gigi’s Market (a great little market featuring local food, by the way).
After lunch was finished, sunscreen applied, water secured, we started down the long and winding road (waved to the goats) to the fields where the magic happens. In the horizon we saw some familiar faces from Bay Ridge – “Brooklyn’s in tha house!”. Rana (our CSA event coordinator) and her kids had arrived earlier, and were already lending helping hands to Farmer Benjamin. The next hour or 2 were spent by all of us helping Ben in the eggplant rows, getting a tour from Ben of all the fields and where everything is growing, tasting veggies straight off the plant/vine/stalk (the raw corn tasted like candy!). Ben’s patience was impressive as he endured constant questions and demands of his attention from the kids. “Look, Ladybugs!” “What is this beetle?!” “Is this a pigweed??” “Look more Lady Bugs” “Is this a weed?!” and on and on and on.
One of the highlights of the visit was visiting the Pick Your Own garden, available to CSA members to pick and take home flowers, herbs, and veggies (tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers & more). The Pick Your Own garden alone is worth the trip. With no bags, we filled my hat with frying peppers, orange cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, tomatillos and more! In the background I heard our 3 yr-old Soonhee trying to comfort Rana’s son, Sufi (same age), that his mom was nearby in the garden picking flowers.
By the end of the day, everyone was fully satisfied, covered in dirt, and ready to relax in the car. We stopped back in Gigi’s to rehydrate and wash up, and interrupted Rana and her kids feasting on chocolate cake (I was jealous) to say ‘See you back in BK’! Then we loaded back in the minivan with our new passenger, lending a ride to a East Williamsburg CSA member, and started back down the Taconic.
We hope more CSA members can make it up to the farm in September for the Harvest Party. It’s a trip worth making, Ben and his crew are wonderful hosts, and they appreciate seeing CSA members visit and show our support. It’s a bit of an elightenment to make the connection between the produce that waits for us at 4th Ave Presbyterian, and where it originates. Until then, see you at the next site distribution, and enjoy these photos from the Farm visit.