Early Morning Harvest

Hello and Welcome!

This is my official first weekly blog entry of the 2014 season. My name is Lauren Mayer. Many of you know me as the CSA Manager, who checks you in at your share pick ups. Through this blog, I hope to invite you into the fields of Red Wagon Organic Farm and share with you some of the things that arise from working on a farm that produces food as a worker and as someone who thinks about and loves food.

Thanks for reading, Lauren.Friday Morning Fog

One of the things I have grown to love about the farm season is the early mornings. Though sometimes the early 5 am wake up call isn’t welcome, the early daybreak drive to the farm is always something to anticipate. The traffic is sparse and, even in the summer when the temperature often reaches 100 degrees, the mornings are crisp. When the sky is clear, sometimes the higher elevations of the Front Range are blushed pink with the first day’s light, while the lower foothills are still in the shadows with fog hovering around bodies of water and in the trees. I always try to stop thinking about the day ahead of me and pause.

Once in the fields, there is a different kind of solitude and quietness. Though usually working with a crew of 2 or 3, the 6 am start-up leaves me to my thoughts while my body works. Greens like arugula, lettuce and kales usually come first on harvest days. The crispness of the air helps them from wilting too quickly before they arrive at the wash station. Work fast, but carefully as to not bruise any leaves. Remove as many weeds as possible, fill a harvest bin with the crop, weigh it if needed for a restaurant order, and empty into a cooler. Repeat.

A couple Fridays ago while harvesting wild amaranth in the garlic and mustard greens for the Saturday market in Boulder, the fields were shrouded in a fine mist. It had rained the day before, so the fields were slick with mud that caked on my boots., making each foot feel like 10 pounds. The fine damp blanket of water attenuated the sounds of the farm truck and intermittent voices, so the squeak of my rain pants and the squish of mud became loud as I made it down the row. As the sun broke through, the soft light soon gave way to a clear blue sky. Fill a bin, empty into a cooler, and repeat.

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