We’re heading into our fifth season of running the CSA on the land I affectionately call Kolapore Gardens, and the sixth year of growing roots in this soil. While you can imagine this is a busy time, what with the growing list of crops which are ready to be hardened off from the greenhouse and transplanted into beds in the garden, others which can be direct seeded now, and others still that went in over the last month and now require a bit of weeding to get well established, I can’t help but pause and reflect a little.
The gardens here really evolved as a backyard patch that kind of got out of control. Trying to put to use an abundance of aged horse manure I mulched a 1/4 acre with cardboard and loaded the manure high.
Now I’m growing for an 85 member Summer CSA, a 100 member Winter CSA (more details about this winter’s program to come!) two strong farmers’ markets and growing wholesale accounts – and the small kitchen garden that has been surrounded with fields of vegetables still feels a little out of control! But the connections I’ve made with individuals and families who have been sharing in the bounty of the gardens over the years have become one of the most special aspects of what I do here.
I’ve seen families grow, be it with children, or grandchildren, life circumstances change, sometimes unexpectedly, and in both cases I’ve watched myself & close circle, as well as those I grow for through the CSA and farmers markets settle into a rhythm of seasonal eating – savouring each of the emerging flavours just as they come to fruition.
In this way, we can savour the seasons, and I tell you, a tomato in June here really tastes like something else when you haven’t had a fresh one since November or December and the pantry is getting low on what you put down at the height of the season last August or September. Similarly, the first strong flush of serious regrowth from over wintered greens in March and April are really something to savour.
And now, as May creeps on and June approaches, the first spring-planted greens are emerging – so tender and luscious, they bring with them a reminder of how delicate, luscious and flavourful our world can be.
For those of you who have been, thanks for eating seasonally with me, and here’s to another rotation around the sun!