News From the Farm | January 11, 2016

The white trunk of our huge fig tree seems almost luminescent in the early morning fog, with all the leaves dropped and the figs a sweet memory.  We harvested a lot of Black Mission Figs and even fig leaves for restaurants from this garden tree. Below near the banks of Cache Creek, a few pigs of various ages are rooting around in the mud while pregnant mom and dad, sleep on straw above.

Three semi-wild cats have adopted us as a source of free food – their three bowls are lined up on the porch. We call them Bobcat, Slant and Princess. I gauge the amount of day and night rain by observing how much of it has accumulated in the cat’s bowls, before I splash it out and give them their kibbles. My neighbors keep track more carefully with rain gauges. The National Weather Service reports that we have had more than 5 inches of rain this season, with more on the way. 

We imagine the roots of trees sucking in the moisture as it soaks down lower into the earth. Our crew has less to pick, but it takes them longer — each trip in and out of the field, laden with boxes of produce, involves slogging through slippery mud. Everyone is wearing plastic and rubber from tip to toe.

The rain and cold weather are the only things with the power to slow the farm down just a little bit. Soon we will start pruning the orchard trees, and  already the tomato year has started in the greenhouse, with the preparation of trays filled with seeds that we saved from last summer. The crew members that are working now are our year-round crew, sticking with us through thick and thin, some of them able to remember the farm as it was 10 and even 20 years ago. How blessed we all are by their hard work.

–Judith Redmond