On Saturday Groundswell Community Farm CSA held a squash picking day. I conned my friend Christina and her daughters Marisa and Sarah into coming with me. We almost didn’t go because it looked like rain on and off, but we decided to go anyway and have an adventure.
We had so much fun! I was surprised that not more members came, there were maybe a dozen volunteers? We learned how to snip the vines and sort the squash into firsts, seconds, and “rot bucket.” Sarah grew bored with picking regular squash so she went on the hunt for rotten ones for the bucket. It brought back memories of my sisters and I weeding onions and grading potatoes. We loved to throw rotten produce at each other.
We were amazed at how many different kinds of squash there were. Sixteen varieties of squash and three kinds of pumpkins! We were able to clear the whole 1/4 acre in a few hours, much to the delight of Farmer Katie.
Marisa and Sarah found what I think are crookneck squash, and had fun hunting them in the foliage.
While we were working the fields, I reflected on how I asked my dad a few weeks ago if he missed farming. He farmed until I was in college, when he sold the farm. He told me that he sometimes misses the farming part but not the business part. There is something so peaceful about being on the farm, doing something physically productive. I am thankful for experiences like the squash harvest that give a little glimpse into food production.
Speaking of the business part, turns out that Groundswell might not be sold after all!
“The best proposal that we’ve seen so far for the farm sale, wouldn’t be a sale at all. A former farm manager would like to take over Katie’s role as farmer and work with Tom to continue the same farm you know and love. Katie would start an educational non-profit based at the farm with the new farmer’s spouse. We’ll wait a moment to introduce you to the potential new farmers, but I will say that they are amazingly kind, talented, energetic & smart people. Hopefully, there will be more info to come!” writes Katie.
If you would like to experience the benefits of being part of the farm, you can still join the CSA (there are a few weeks left of the summer season; the winter CSA runs from November – mid-December). You can also find them in three Farmers’ Markets
- Fulton St. Market in GR, Saturdays
- Holland Farmers’ Market, Saturdays & Wednesdays
- Grand Haven Farmers’ Market, Saturdays
When you purchase the squash, remember that it was picked with love!