Undoubtedly the event of the week was the Slow Food potluck here at the farm on Sunday. I was a beautiful sunny late spring day with temperatures in the 70’s and a breeze. Betsy and I had mowed the place up and we had set up tables in what we call “the stand” (formerly our Pick-Your-Own stand) which is under the shade of three huge tulip poplars and a willow oak. Looking out over the fields and gardens and right up next to the lettuce field and the fava beans. At 4:00 cars began to roll in and by 5:00 there was quite a large group assembled. The skies were getting fearsome looking and I ran in to check the radar, lots of red and purple! I ran back out, climbed on a chair and announced that everyone needed to grab their potluck dish and go down to our house. Just as everyone made it inside it began to dump rain, with thunder and lightning. Fortunately we had just put that living room addition onto the house this winter and have lots of kitchen counter and a dining table we can put lots of leaves in. The kitchen counters and the table were covered by food dishes and the food line snaked around the room like a conga line. In Slow Food parlance the local chapters are called conviviums as in convivial- “fond of feasting, drinking, and good company; social, jovial” we were certainly that! Great food made with local ingredients and I think that everyone was able to move around the house and visit with each other. As the rain stopped and people made their way back to their cars and home they also took short self guided tours of the farm. Not exactly as planned but fun still the same. We didn’t get a count of how many folks came but I can tell you we had over a hundred forks and there were four left unused! Someone said it should have been the picture of the week but I couldn’t get to my camera.
Not without some nervous pacing around, we managed to get all the peppers in the ground this past week, hallelujah! Wednesday the guys got all the black landscape fabric laid over the nine raised beds that I reserve for all the hot peppers which I think need the extra warm soil to do well and the fussier sweet peppers than need better drained soil. As I headed off to market they proceeded to plant all of those nine beds with 26 different varieties. That task alone of making sure that each variety is placed in the right location so we can know what it is and make it more efficient come picking time. I leave them a detailed map of what goes where. That job done we are only half finished planting. The rest of the plants, all of the red bells and most of the yellow and oranges are planted directly into killed cover crops. A slower process and we were held up by wet soil from what is beginning to feel like rain every other day. Finally yesterday it seemed like it was dry enough and we needed to get them in before the next rain. With speed and precision the three of us went about it and all went well, another nine beds all tucked into the mulch. In total nearly 2400 hundred plants and they all got rained in last night, perfect!