AgriCulture: Circadian Rhythms

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WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK:lots of second waves
Haricots verts and wax beans are back
Parsley, limited quantities, $.75 a bunch
cherry belle radishes are back, $2/bunch
Oasis turnips are back, $2/bunch
“You’re a sunflower” – Post Malone photo by Troy Spindler
Circadian Rhythms
Hey all, Troy here.I wore a sweater today for the first time in months. That’s not actually the first sign that summer is ending, but it sends a pretty clear message. For many families, the clearest sign that summer is over is the arrival of the school bus – the ultimate symbol of order and routine and the most definitive end to the freedom and chaos of summer. Though we don’t have any children or teachers here, there is a similar, albeit more gradual, progression from chaos to order at Turkana Farms. Many of the crops we’ve been tending to all season are finally fruiting and are ready to harvest (if they haven’t already run their course). Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peppers, and now apples, raspberries, and squash. Every day something is ripe for the picking, and the daily harvests have given me much more structure and routine than I’ve had all summer. In contrast, high summer was a hectic whack-a-mole game of dealing with weeds, diseases, critters, and many other unexpected problems. And that’s just in the garden. Trying to keep the sheep free of parasites without a barn was a whole other battle in itself. Let’s just say it was hard to find a regular cycle around here. But we did manage to find our rhythm in the end. We just had to look for it outside of ourselves…Dear readers, did you know that my uncle loves to dance? Because I didn’t before this summer. Nor did I expect to ever find myself by his side dancing to Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and certainly not Azealia Banks. I obviously wasn’t accounting for the influence of our neighbor Adam, who charmed all of us into dancing as a semi-regular activity to de-stress this summer. Thanks to him, we attended several of Bard’s summer “Spiegeltent” dance parties. The Spiegeltent is a temporary venue at Bard College that hosts a variety of performances throughout the summer. After each show, there is a dance party that starts at 10pm, and ends at the very reasonable hour of 12:30 – perfect for our farmer lifestyle. If you’re hoping I will describe Mark’s dancing to you, I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to join us next summer to see it for yourself. But I will say he can dance to anything (he’s more partial to Carly Rae Jepsen than Pitbull, but this shouldn’t surprise any of us).Our dance excursions were, I have to say, some of the highlights of this summer. Farm work is difficult in many ways, but maybe the hardest thing this year has been staying focused and motivated despite the inordinately demoralizing obstacles that we’ve faced. Finding a way to get off the farm and release the tensions of the week has been an invaluable resource. Beyond that, music has been vitally important to my daily motivation and has helped me feel less isolated out here. Whether I’m listening to a curated playlist while washing eggs or have one song looping in my head while I water the garden, I can still feel connected to the cultural milieu of the day, and thus the wider world. I thought it would be an appropriate way to celebrate summer’s end to share a playlist of songs that got me through this summer – plus some that just wouldn’t leave me alone while I toiled.I won’t pretend there’s a connecting theme to this playlist beyond the fact that all these songs were stuck in my head at some point this summer, so it’s probably not for everyone. But I figured, if the General Counsel to the US Department of Justice was patient enough to listen to me ramble about the rise of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato while dicing cucumbers during his stay here (thank you Arthur!), then you all can find it in yourselves to dip into this playlist and connect to the rhythms that have been driving me this summer.“Dirt On My Boots” by Jon Pardi – Okay, this one is the black sheep of the playlist. It’s pop country. But it perfectly encapsulates and validates our need to dance our hearts out after a hard day on the farm.“Party For One” by Carly Rae Jepsen – Unless Esperanza decides to wander out and find me, most things I do throughout the day I do alone. This song makes that reality more exciting. And it bops.“Steal My Sunshine” by Len – A quintessential one hit wonder that’s in my head every time I weed. It’s written from the perspective of our poor, over-shaded crops.“Creep” by TLC – In a similar vein, this song is about the oriental bittersweet creeping up all our fences.“Talk” by Khalid – I had to play a lot of phone tag with contractors trying to find someone to clean up the barn site and do the rebuild. This one is dedicated to them. “Can we just talk? Talk about where we’re going”“Dona De Mim” by IZA – Brazil was on my mind from hearing the recent news about the wildfires in the Amazon Rainforest, and so was this song.“Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee – One brave volunteer sunflower stood taller than everything else in our garden this year. It always made this song come to mind.“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo – It’s at the top of the charts and deserves it — plus I can’t help but feel that when she says“Why men great till they gotta be great?” she’s talking about the same kind of tilling that I am.“Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey – This has been in my head a lot recently, because it’s true. Victoria will always be my baby. Whether we cave to Mark’s relentless pressure to get married and start a family or not has no bearing on our commitment to always be each other’s babies. The same goes for Mapquest and Esperanza and the sheep and even that sunflower. They’re all our babies. Always.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEKFish Peppers or Cubanelles, 2 for $1.00
Tiny hot matchbox peppers, $2.50/bag
Oasis turnips, $2/bunch
cherry bell radishes, $2/bunchWild Water Peppers, $2/bunch
Tomatoes, full force, $3/lb.
Sun Gold tomatoes $4/pint
Lots of Rainbow Chard – $3/bunch
Cucumbers, $2/lb
Mugwort, $1/bunch for infusions or tea
Beets, $3/bunch (mixed bunches Chiogga, Detroit Red, Golden, or tell us your preference),
Scallions, $2/bunch
Kale $3/bunch two different varieties, deep blue green straight leaf and curly leaf
Collards, $3/bunch
MINT: $.75 a bunch
parsley $.75
Greek globe basil, $3/bag
Genovese Basil, $3/bag
SHISO LEAVES green or red, $1.00 FOR 10
Turkish pole beans, haricots verts and wax beans $3/lb (limited)
Okra, $3/lb (limited)EGGS: $5/dozMEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezerGEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.TURKEYS: A few small ones left over and frozen $11/lb .GUINEA FOWL, We are sold out!ROASTING CHICKENS – We are sold out til FallLAMB: shoulder roasts at $10/lb, riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb, lamb stew $7/lb, shanks, $10/lbPORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs), Jowl (roughly 2 to 3 lbs each), $12/lb,
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb
baby back ribs $8/lb
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb
picnic or Boston butt roasts (roughly 2 lbs) SOLD OUT
smoked bacon, $12/lb
Kielbasa $8/lbDUCKS: SOLD OUT
FARM PICKUPS:Email us your order at, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.


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