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Spidermen At Work

I snapped a photo of the workers on our greenhouse roof today. If you look closely, you can see the giant suction cups which are required for them to carefully move around. This is not a job for the faint of heart! When exhaust fans need to be replaced or a seal repaired, it takes special equipment to move around two stories up on the glass rooftop of our greenhouse.

Our Super Heros are Bill and Will Kater of Pool Enclosures, Inc. All of the greenhouse maintenance is complete and our tractors have been serviced. We are ready to begin the season! Many seed beds have been started and the first seeds are starting to poke their heads up from the soil; right now they are so tiny I cannot even show them in a photo! Stay tuned. I will post more photos soon to show you the progress of our “babies” which will eventually fill your CSA Boxes and tummies!

In the meantime, here is a photo of our evening meal. Broccoli, cauliflower, tatsoi quiche cake, and Eggplant Parmesan–all from our 2020 harvest and freezer stash. Properly prepared and stored, these veggies taste like they were just harvested! However, it is 2021 and time to clear items out and get ready for a new crop of seasonal gourmet vegetables. Now this is some healthy eating!

Farm shares are available! We are currently accepting new CSA Members for the 2021 Harvest Season!!

The Forecast Is Always Bright

The weather is always changing, but the forecast is always bright. That’s the way we try to roll–looking on the bright side of life! There is no point in stressing over the things one cannot control. Such behavior will only make one anxious and there are enough anxious events and people in the world right now. Robert and I trust the boxes of veggies we harvest for our CSA Members will provide positive energy and be nurturing, nutritious, and joyful. If this is what we can do, then our Mission is being accomplished!

Our greenhouse is ready to go into full production! Seed beds to transplants to the gardens to the harvest to the CSA Boxes to kitchen tables throughout Buncombe and Henderson Counties. Crop production takes many steps, lots of hard work, planning and luck! Pray for a bountiful season!!

If you are looking for a family-operated CSA farm, we would love to have you join us.  Just fill out the Join Our CSA form on our website. We will get back to you with a Welcome Email as soon as possible so you know that you are “IN” our CSA Family.

We are so ready for spring to arrive . . .

Hopeful and Optimistic

I read an interesting article today about the difference between hope and optimism. In a nutshell is said that optimism is expecting good things will happen and hope is the expectation that one can make good things happen. Getting into the “weeds” of the subject, the author said optimists tend to deny or avoid negative information. I have a sign which has hung in every home I have made. It says “Optimist On Duty!” And yes, as farmers we MUST deny and avoid negative information in order to even proceed with our occupation each spring. Otherwise, weeds, insect pests, blight, fungus, drought, excessive rainfall, heat, cold, frost, wildlife . .. . the list goes on and on as to the amount of negativity which could possibly deter us from even planting a crop! Bottom Line: Robert and I are both hopeful and optimistic that each year will be a bountiful growing and harvest season!

As you go through your life in the crazy world we are living in, keep these distinctions between hope and optimism in mind. The future is always uncertain and has been since the dawn of time. However, with uncertainty comes possibilities and the ability to be a part of something bigger than oneself. On our small, family farm, we say “come on!” to the negative possibilities. We shall struggle through you and believe that we are capable of achieving our goal of growing a bountiful crop despite the challenges Mother Nature delivers. And we wish you hope and optimism in dealing with whatever situations you are facing in your life!

We have been farming and operating CaneCreekCSA aka Cane Creek Asparagus & Company along Cane Creek since 1993. CSA is all we do. No wholesale. No tailgate marketing. If you have been sitting on the sidelines and thinking about joining a CSA, now is the time to do so. Why? Because NOW is the time when we farmers are planning for the 2021 Harvest Season and preparing to begin our greenhouse work so we can have a crop in mid- to late-May! I have been preparing the greenhouse and today we had the glass roof resealed. Spiderman with giant suction cups! You can see a photo of him at work on the Resource Conservation page of the website. Soon we shall begin our seedbeds . . .

SUBJECT CHANGE . . .

If you are the sort of person who likes “going down rabbit holes,” you might be interested in doing some research on Personalized Nutrition which is defined as “Tailoring dietary advice to suit an individual based on their diet phenotype or genetic make-up.”  What does the optimal human look like? And who gets to decide what an optimal human is?

Scientists are even now working on a GMO tomato as edible COVID vaccine which will fundamentally change ones cellular structure. Nano technology and CRISPER technology and robotic bees and beehives are wrapped up in impact management of diabetes and agriculture and the bio-tech sector as profit engines.

One place to find a start to this “rabbit hole” is on the https:/greenmedinfo.com interviews between Alison McDowell and Sayer Ji. Also, https://www.wrenchinthegears.com.  Or search the Japanese Moonshot R&D program with Cybernetic Avatar Capitalism for Diversity and Inclusion. For those who look, there is a great deal of information available with regard to gaming and behavior management.  I like to be informed and to the best of my ability to understand these complicated potential transformations to a 2050 Cyborg 5.0 Society World Vision.

Smart apps, smart food, smart textiles, smart health systems, digital wallets, AI, and cognitive neuro science all connected to the “network” . . . What or who is in control of these systems? Is this the best way? Precision Agriculture with GPS Technology information is in all of the farming magazines—but not the path for me.

I prefer to use natural, old-fashioned, human-driven interactions.  In other words, getting my hands into the soil and working with real plants and real food!  I don’t see my body, brain, space and time as being limitations from which I need to be freed.  My choice, please, is to leave me and my Soul to my greenhouse and gardens with live bees and soil and earthworms. Our intention is to make the world a better place. Although if Robert and I had digital twins, that would double our workforce!

Live your values . . .

Stressful Times

In stressful and anxious times people look for things to make them feel more comfortable. We think membership in our small family farm CSA is one of those comforting experiences! When you are in our CSA, we get to know your family and you get to know ours. You will begin to understand a bit about life on our farm and what is involved in getting our seasonal produce to your family’s table. You get a sense of how your food is grown and you get to share in the excitement of our local harvest year–the first green salads, the fleeting snow peas, the tender, crunchy green beans, the thin-skinned new potatoes, vine-ripened tomatoes and cucumbers–perhaps even cantaloupes in a good year!

It is important to recognize one must do more meal preparation with locally grown, whole foods. I mean your farm fresh veggies will not be wrapped in plastic or pre-cooked. We do our best to keep as much of our soil here on our Fairview farm, but some washing will be involved. However, we firmly believe the simple act of preparing ones meal can be made into an escape and a blessing to ones senses!

If you have always valued family farms or if you just want to dip your toe into the CSA experience for the first time, we would love to have you join us! We are planning for a late-May through October 2021 Harvest Season–weather permitting, of course!!

If you were a member of our CSA in 2020, do not fret! Soon we shall be in direct contact with you to confirm your desire for continued membership into the 2021 farming season.

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Health and Happiness in 2021

I think all individuals can agree 2020 has been a very unusual year in many ways. We look forward to a new year, a new harvest season, and to the possibility of your being a valued part of our small, family farm CSA community once again–or for the first time–as the case may be!

We offer our Best Wishes to all for health and happiness in 2021 and prayers for a bountiful growing season!

Another Season Change = More Gratitude

The turkey and dressing are gone for 2020 and the Christmas trees and lights are going up around the neighborhoods. Robert and I ventured to the WNC Farmer’s Market today to purchase a Christmas tree for our own home. The premises were hustling and bustling with activity! We found the perfect North Carolina grown fir tree and had a lovely conversation with the farm owner and tree caretakers.

In a recent conversation with my seven-year old Grandson, he stated that we may have to cancel some of Christmas this year due to Corona-virus. I was saddened to think his young mind was considering the prospect. I informed him that WE would NOT be canceling Christmas at our house! Later that day, my mind went to one of the most unhappiest Christmas seasons I experienced. Instantly, I felt a flood of gratitude and appreciation for how much better my life is now. And I am grateful for the lessons learned in that long-ago experience. The Stoic philosophy says gratitude for every experience is the key to robust mental health.

Yes! This Santa is made of OKRA!! Doesn’t everyone put veggies on their Christmas tree?!

True happiness comes from recognizing things we are grateful for in our nation and in this world. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation ever has grown; but we have forgotten God! We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”

In your self-reflection this holiday season, remember there is a force greater than ourselves. And remember to look at the nation and world situation, examine it, and then make the conscious decision about how to respond in the best possible way. Even in hardship we can be grateful for the lessons learned. So breathe deeply, exhale slowly, and prepare your body and mind for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2021.

Merry Christmas 2020 and a Blessed New Year in 2021 from Robert and Glenda Ploeger AKA Cane Creek Asparagus & Co CSA

GRATITUDE

I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new” . . . and the ordinary delights brought by each passing day!

Whatever means of celebration you choose, I trust you are filled with gratitude and joy for the Blessings we enjoy in this great country–America the Beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving 2020 from Robert and Glenda!!

Lyrics for America the Beautiful . . .

  1. Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
  2. Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.
  3. Oh, beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And ev’ry gain divine.
  4. Oh, beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.

Text: Katherine Lee Bates, 1859–1929

Music: Samuel A. Ward, 1848–1903

Time Change

The time changed last night/this morning and the wind is blowing a blustery gale this evening. So happy I am not a turkey roosting in a tree tonight!

Robert has all of the garden cleanup done from the 2020 Harvest Season! This is a first to be done this early. We are already planning for the 2021 Harvest Season, however! We have placed two seed orders and are working on the third order. We have always planned and prepared in advance–this is one of our secrets to successful CSA Farming!

We are already getting inquires for the 2021 Harvest Season. As I indicated upon the 2020 Season Closing, I will be directly contacting all 202 CSA Members in February for your 2021 Season Commitment.

Stay warm. Stay well. Eat well.

Getting Healthier?

I read an interesting statistic today. Before March 2020 nearly 90% of grocery shoppers reported dinning out sometimes; however, a recent survey indicates only 45% of shoppers reported utilizing restaurant delivery while 35% reported cooking at home six to seven days a week! Of course, I am sorry for the pandemic distress caused for all of those in the food service industry. Our country, indeed the world, is facing a terrible economic situation due to the mandated “lockdowns.” However, if anything good is to come from this terrible situation, perhaps the change in eating habits from restaurants to cooking at home will help to improve the health of families.

The Last Onion

Our final CSA Boxes of the 2020 Harvest Season will be delivered the last week of October. This is an early shut down of our CSA in comparison to years past. However, Robert and I feel we had a very successful CSA Season–despite the fact our gardens received (up to the first of October) an amount of rain which would come up to our chins if delivered all at once!

Fall Garden Cleanup

One of the advantages of a forced early closing to your farmers is that Robert has been able to clean the gardens up MUCH earlier. There have been years when this work was completed in December or January! October is a much nicer month for this difficult and dirty job.

It is interesting to see reaction of the area wildlife to the changed look of the fields. Shock might be a good word used to describe the feelings of “nakedness” and “exposure” they now experience when in the garden area. Fortunately, we still have tree lines for them. Here is a photo of Mom and The Twins–who are now old enough to sometimes play alone in the fields. This Helicopter Mother is always nearby with watchful eyes, however!

Mom and Her Twins

These last boxes will contain spaghetti squash plus either delicata or carnival winter squash and sweet potatoes. There will be the last of the (small) eggplant and bell peppers. And perhaps a few red or russet potatoes in some of the boxes. These potatoes were not an abundant crop for us this season.

The Last Eggplant

We do recognize an increased consumer demand for CSA Farm Shares and local food. I will be contacting all 2020 CSA Members in February for a 2021 Season Commitment. We are also now accepting new CSA Members for the 2021 Season!

As Fall moves toward Winter . . . Stay Warm, Stay Safe, and Eat Well. And thank you to all for your participation in our 2020 CSA Harvest Season!