Waxing Poetic (farm blog)

Welcome to Shiloh's world!
Posted 10/27/2020 4:45pm by Shiloh Avery.

 

Ode to October.

Oh October, the light hanging low

Just brushing the brilliant colors in the trees,

Shadows long,

Sweatshirts in the mornings, sleeveless in the afternoon.

My gratitude builds with each ray of sunshine,

Even filtered through whimsical clouds. Bees are busy foraging the last of the blooms,

But my pantry is already stocked

And there’s time to just enjoy.

Porches were made for these days.

A slow down, a tucking in,

A satisfaction of a job near complete,

Of people fed.

This is October.

 

Here's what we're harvesting for you this week:

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Carrots: $5/bunch

Celery: $3.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Hakurei salad turnips: $3/bunch

Arugula: $3.50/compostable container

Rainbow Chard (very limited): $3/bunch

Collard Greens (very limited): $3/bunch

Romaine lettuce: $3.50/head

Spinach: $5/ 1/2-lb bag

Cilantro: $2/bunch

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

  

 

Posted 10/19/2020 1:24pm by Shiloh Avery.

 

The sweaters have come out of the storage and the shorts have gone into the closet, and thus begins the down-shift season.  With just a bit over a month left to go in our harvest season, the last half of October brings a slowing down.  With all the planting finished, the deconstruction happens on a much more flexible timeline.  We suddenly have time to focus on things other than the farm, like the gorgeous October weather, sitting on the porch with friends and neighbors, petting the pets, reading books, hiking, each other.  All that was once a fire to put out becomes a fire to sit around and relax.

People ask me if I’m excited for the winter.  The answer is more bittersweet.  While I am ready to slow down and enjoy some of life’s better moments, to celebrate our anniversary and Halloween, to rest and renew, to visit family and friends, the change of seasons also brings the dissipation of our farmily, and colder weather for this self-proclaimed cold wimp.

But I’m going to live in the October moment. With leaves starting to turn, and the sunshine warming our faces in the day, and my new patio heater warming them on porches with friends and neighbors at night (self-proclaimed cold wimp, remember?), I’m going to embrace the down-shift with all I’ve got, maybe even hit the brakes a bit.    

Here's what we're harvesting for you this week:

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Hakurei salad turnips: $3/bunch

Arugula: $3.50/compostable container

Kale (limited): $3/bunch

Rainbow Chard (limited): $3/bunch

Collard Greens (limited): $3/bunch

Spinach: $5/ 1/2-lb bag

Cilantro: $2/bunch

 

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

Posted 10/12/2020 4:58pm by Shiloh Avery.

 

This week began with humor.  The photo on the left is the now empty emergency Prosecco kit my friend David made for me a year or two ago.  I had a Prosecco emergency this year!  The picture on the right is, I presume, my new emergency Prosecco kit made by my friend Robert who heard about the emergency Prosecco kit and my consumption of it. 

Keep your friends and neighbors and family safe and close y’all.  Moments like these are worth everything.  Hidden here in our little corner of the wacky world, we’re finding laughter and connection.  And love. Across political divides, despite all that’s stacked against us, we can let little bubbles of laughter lighten the weight of the world.  It’s still okay to laugh.  No, it’s still great to laugh.  Laughter will carry us through, let it lift you for a while.

Here's what we're harvesting for you this week:

Green beans: $3.50/pound

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops, last of it on Saturday only: $6.95/pound

Fresh baby turmeric: $1/ounce

Hakurei salad turnips: $3/bunch

Arugula (limited): $3.50/compostable container

Kale (limited): $3/bunch

Rainbow Chard (limited): $3/bunch

Collard Greens (limited): $3/bunch

Cilantro: $2/bunch

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Ghost chiles: $1 each

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

  

Posted 10/6/2020 6:46am by Shiloh Avery.

 

Long journey ahead for this monarch

It’s only October, but the change of seasons is bringing some sense of hope that just moving forward will bring a beneficial change.  This year has felt like one large American Ninja challenge and our metaphorical arms are getting tired of holding the weight of everything.  We’re exhausted.   Little things require vast effort. 

We keep putting one foot in front of the other as if we’re sure there’s some sort of unseen destination that lay ahead.  Mondays come, we stumble through tasks, Tuesdays are a long day and suddenly Wednesday market/delivery day is here.  Wednesday again ends late and then it’s Thursday.  What are we doing on Thursday?  Oh yeah, more stumbling through tasks and then it’s Friday harvest and pack day which runs directly into Saturday the 3:45am long day, and too soon comes the end of Sunday-the relax day.

One foot in front of the other. Carrying the weight of the world and trying to survive in our little corner of it.  Routine and repeat. We’ll keep going through the motions with blind faith that there is an end coupled with a new beginning. We’re in a holding pattern.   

Here's what we're harvesting for you this week:

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops: $6.95/pound

Fresh baby turmeric: $1/ounce

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Hakurei salad turnips: $3/bunch

Kale (limited): $3/bunch

Rainbow Chard (limited): $3/bunch

Collard Greens (limited): $3/bunch

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Ghost chiles: $1 each

 

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

Posted 9/28/2020 2:24pm by Shiloh Avery.

 

 

I learned from a Jesuit brother many years ago that we are the universe’s method of reflecting upon itself.  I’ve never forgotten that piece of wisdom.  Since then, I’ve been trying to show the universe a good time.  I mean, self reflection is good and all, but it can get a bit intense if you don’t focus on the better parts now and again. 

In the midst of a confusing and chaotic year, in a country that feels like it’s brimming with animosity, I decided to turn to the interior and show the universe some of its good stuff: the stunning natural beauty of western North Carolina.  So we took to the Reddies River in our backyard for a bit of “forest bathing.”

We had the entire 10-mile stretch of the river entirely to ourselves, save for a few water birds and a turtle or two.  There on the river, the world shrinks to that moment, and it’s easy to let go of the chaos of this year and the wider world.  It’s good to be reminded that this is still here, no matter what is happening beyond the lines of trees, and steep rock walls that shelter us from view.  That nature is nature, and that we’re not all that important in the grand scheme of things—just a way for the universe to reflect upon itself.  I’m pretty sure it had a good time.

Here's what we're harvesting for you this week:

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Arugula (limited): $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops: $6.95/pound

Fresh baby turmeric: $1/ounce

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Hakurei salad turnips: $3/bunch

Butternut squash: $2.50/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Ghost chiles: $1 each

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

Posted 9/21/2020 5:37pm by Shiloh Avery.

 

I hear a lot about living in the moment. And complaints about how cell phones and their evolution into miniature computers has none of us living in the moment.  To be fair, I do think my “device” has changed my brain a little bit.  I mean, all of my lists are kept there, and my calendar, so I never have to actually remember anything.  And it’s true that I find myself thinking in social media bites (oh! I should get a picture of that for social media).  Guilty.

But as I was canning tomatoes the other day, it occurred to me that we’ve never just truly lived in the moment.  I mean, I wasn’t just sitting on the porch enjoying that moment of tomato season.  Nope, I was thinking about the future when there aren’t going to be any tomatoes.  And yesterday, when I was smoking jalapenos to preserve them into the winter months when we won’t have that flavor (or heat) again.

This time of year often churns me into a preservation frenzy.  When the evening weather is perfect for porch sitting and just enjoying the moment, I find myself rushing around putting things in jars because THIS MOMENT ISN’T GOING TO BE HERE MUCH LONGER!  I know, I know, the irony.  But maybe I’ll enjoy that winter moment when I’m eating some crazy delicious home grown organic chipotle tomato sauce from food I preserved in late September.  Maybe.

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Arugula (limited): $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops: $6.95/pound

Fresh baby turmeric: $1/ounce

Okra: $2/pint

Shishito peppers, maybe: $3/pint

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Eggplant (end of it): $2.75/pound

Butternut squash: $2.50/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Ghost chiles: $1 each

 

Hickory folks: don't miss out on this year's version of our annual CCM/Farmers' market farm to table dinner! 

Get your tickets here: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/ghccm/event/818793/?blm_aid=29445&fbclid=IwAR0Nstm3WtVR72UrOwF0pk9Dqg7t48viHgj6tRl3R82HwEKlyLMmkFDT6wI

(or purchase them at farmers market)

This annual fundraiser is important to both the farmers market and our partner CCM.  Please make a space in your lives and budgets to participate in this dinner if you can!  The food is always great!

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

Posted 9/14/2020 5:02pm by Shiloh Avery.

Everybody keeps asking me if I’ve lost weight and the answer is always I don’t know.  Not out of some misplaced modesty or pride, but because I genuinely don’t know.  We don’t own a scale.  Well, not one that will weigh humans anyway.

I find the whole bathroom scale concept one of the most absurd of our culture.  No wonder we’re so obsessed with weight as a society.  Or is the bathroom scale convention simply a reflection of that obsession.  How long has that been an accepted and even expected part of our culture?  Did my great grandparents have a bathroom scale?  Did their parents?

We obsess over weight despite knowing so many other factors could influence such a meaningless number.  I could have gained more muscle and therefore, weigh more than before, or vice versa.  It seems such an arbitrary measure.  I mean, we know if we’ve gotten fat.  We don’t need to check each morning for the minute details.  If my clothes are tight, my relative size has changed.  If I have to go get new clothes because they no longer fit, I might pause to consider a cause of this and decide if I should change one behavior or another. If my clothes still fit, then no need to think about it. But if that bathroom scale is staring at me….

I figure, as long as I'm eating food, not too much, mostly plants, I can ignore the minutiae and I'll be just fine.

Here's the healthy stuff we're harvesting for you this week:

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Arugula: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Baby Bok Choy: $3.95/pound

Scallions: $2/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops: $6.95/pound

Okra: $2/pint

Aji Dulce peppers: $3/pint

Trinidad Perfume peppers: $3/pint

Shishito peppers: $3/pint

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Eggplant: $2.75/pound

Butternut squash: $2.50/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Ghost chiles: $1 each

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

 

Posted 9/7/2020 6:09pm by Shiloh Avery.

Since I didn't actually take a picture of my slow progress to the compost pile, here's a picture of pepper abundance instead

It took three steps for me to get some old forgotten produce out of the corner of the crisper of the fridge to the compost pile last week.  And I don’t mean three literal steps, but more like a 12-step program (let go and hope that God does it?).  Day 1, step 1: I consolidated a few random old things I had found in the back corner of the crisper (can anyone say Napa Cabbage butts from the spring!!?) into one bag.  I even managed to set it out on the porch that day!  Day 3, step2: I finally decided the porch was not going to compost that old produce very well, so I dropped it at the end of the sidewalk on my way to the laundry: a few steps closer.  Then finally, when I got worried we’d actually get around to mowing and accidentally mow that bag of compost because the grass was growing around it, I took the final literal three steps and dumped it into the compost.

If this were the only thing, I’d consider it an anomaly, but it’s actually more of a pattern.  Time to take the recycling out?  We first move the bag from under the sink to the door for a day or two.  Then eventually, we move it out to the porch for several days, before taking the final three steps to the recycling bins to empty it.  Same thing, more or less, with the trash. 

This is how exhaustion manifests, or at least that’s my excuse.  Baby steps.  Just inch it a little bit closer to the goal.  Easy does it, not too fast now.  Every step of the way counts.

Here’s what we’ll be inching out of the fields for you this week:

Green Beans (stringless): $3.50/pound

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Arugula: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Radishes: $2.75/bunch

Fresh baby ginger with tops: $6.95/pound

Okra: $2/pint

Aji Dulce peppers: $3/pint

Trinidad Perfume peppers: $3/pint

Shishito peppers: $3/pint

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Eggplant: $2.75/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

 

 

Posted 8/31/2020 1:18pm by Shiloh Avery.

With this kind of weather dominating our year, no wonder I'm dreaming about coffee!

I had a dream the other night.  It was fully adorned with all the silly strange thickness of dreams, but I think it bore a bit of a lesson too.  In said dream, I was a farmer. That much seems reasonable.  But a customer called and wanted a coffee and to purchase a muffin.  Being the “yes” person that I am, I complied.  Or at least I tried to.

I put the muffin on a plate and made it presentable, poured the coffee into a paper cup, but I had no lid.  No worries, it wasn’t far to the customer’s office where I would deliver the goods.  But in true dreamlike fashion, the short jaunt turned epic.  I got distracted while waiting for the elevator (one person at a time in the elevator, so it was a long wait) and absentmindedly set down the muffin somewhere.  Then, when I finally got a place in the elevator, I spilled the coffee, only to arrive on the customer’s floor with only a half a cup of now cold coffee in hand.

Sigh.  I think I should probably stick to farming.  And sometimes, the answer just shouldn’t be “yes”.

Here's what we we're harvesting this week:

Green Beans (stringless): $3.50/pound

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix: $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Okra: $2/pint

Aji Dulce peppers: $3/pint

Shishito peppers: $3/pint

Tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Beefsteak, German Johnson, Margold, and a handful of green zebra): $2.95/pound

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Eggplant: $2.75/pound

Green peppers: $3.00/pound

Purple bell peppers: $3.50/pound

Poblano Peppers: $3.50/pound

"Hatch" (New Mexican) chiles: $3.50/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

 

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

Posted 8/25/2020 5:03pm by Shiloh Avery.

I realized the other day that I just don’t take as many pictures as I used to. It’s as if everything we do here is just no longer fascinating.  As if the art of growing food has lost its luster.  But then, in a torrent of jubilation, I understood that it’s not that!!!  It’s late August.  Duh.

The exhaustion has settled subtly upon us like the morning dew, so slyly we never even noticed the predation.  Instead, we just noticed that basic maintenance seemed too much of a bother to mess with.  “I think I’ll just lay here in bed a few minutes longer—I don’t need to stretch every morning”; “I know meditation helps me control reactions, but so does laying here a while longer”; “I don’t really need to brush my teeth every night”.  We fall heavy into bed at a time even we are too embarrassed to admit, “who cares that it’s not even dark yet—I’ll just close this shade…”

Someone wise once told me, “never analyze your career choice in August.”  Fortunately, August also brings slightly shorter days and longer shadows, breaths of cooler weather and other harbingers of autumn, and, well, peppers.  Do not fret, my friends, this is not my annual ode to capsicum annuum, but just a foreshadow of its approach.  It’s a reckoning with the cost of the labor that leads to said fruit of the gods, and a nod toward all the delicious things to come.  Yeah, it is always worth it.  Always.

Here's what we we're harvesting this week:

Green Beans (stringless): $3.50/pound

Baby Lettuce Salad Mix (limited): $4/5-oz compostable container or 2/$7

Okra: $2/pint

Shishito peppers: $3/pint

Tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, Beefsteak, German Johnson, some Margold): $2.95/pound

Tomatoes: canner boxes (small and/or cosmetically challenged tomatoes), 20-pounds, $30

Sungold Cherry tomatoes: $3.50/pint

Ripe Sweet Italian Peppers (red, orange, and yellow): $4.50/pound

Ripe Sweet Bell Peppers (red and yellow): $4.50/pound

Eggplant: $2.75/pound

Green peppers: $3.00/pound

Purple bell peppers: $3.50/pound

Poblano Peppers: $3.50/pound

"Hatch" (New Mexican) chiles: $3.50/pound

Chiles (Jalapeno, serrano, chilaca, cherry bomb, cayenne, Aleppo, lemon,  a few Aji Amarillo, and probably a few I forgot): $.25 each

Mallory's Mixed flower bouquets: $11.95 Last week for sure

Basil: $2/1/8 oz bag also probably last week?

We'll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Building A 8am-12:30 and at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market 330 Main Ave NW  Wednesday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone 8-noon.  

 

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