Brooke and I had a great time at the farm this afternoon. And by great, I mean I now know why Tricia is always wearing carhartts, a straw hat, gloves and boots. The weeds on the farm? Not so much like the weeds in our garden.
The learning curve was slight, though. I weeded gloveless for oh, about three minutes, before taking my bloodied hands to the car and getting the gloves my sister cleverly thought to bring me that morning. In case you missed that: she is the smart sister.
The work day goes from 8am to noon and we got there around 10:15. And no, not because we're bums, but because Brooke was at the Indian Valley Farmers Market and I was wandering around Perkasie with Jenn and Kellie looking for the alleged farmers market there. Alleged as in, we never found it.
By the time we got to the farm, the potato duties were complete, but there were other chores to be done :) We weeded the swiss chard aisles and cleared out a hoop house containing tomato and basil plants.
I could go on here about how great it is to work with a group of people to accomplish a task, how working on the farm provided us with a real sense of accomplishment as well as a tangible result, how beautiful the weather was and how wonderful the earth is. But, I won't. Instead, I'm going to show you this:
Holy. Freaking. Basil.
The tomato and basil plants we pulled were at the end of their growing cycle, but not useless. Tom did warn the group upon entering the hoop house, that we were about to see Tricia's maternal instincts kick in and hear her say that the plants were still good and that she'd struggle with tossing them. Tom did not however, warn the group that we would all feel like that. We put aside the firmest of the tomatoes and a few armfuls of basil plants for whoever wanted to bring them home.
Like I said, the plants were at the end of their growing cycle, which means they would have to immediately be used or preserved. Maybe we were feeling ambitious, or maybe we were high from a fun and satisfying first work day, or maybe our instinct to stock up for winter kicked in. I don't know what the reasoning was, but I do know that Brooke and I left with a ridiculous quantity of basil. Apparently motivated by my recent canning adventure, I also grabbed way too many tomatoes.
We each conjured up the gatherer/harvester from within and spent the afternoon on my porch, pulling basil leaves, chatting and enjoying a chilly glass of beer. It was lovely :)
Now, any creative basil and tomato recipes you'd like to share?