A Christmas Tree, Brussels Sprouts & a Chainsaw: Fall Veggie Share Week #6 – 11/29/23

 In CSA Newsletter

A Christmas Tree, Brussels Sprouts and a Chainsaw

Fifteen years ago, Michael and I planted a hedgerow of trees along the west side of our fields at the farm on J to give us some visual and audio protection from the traffic along Highway P. 

We planted them very close together, planning for loss. Every year, in early December, we go out and take one of the evergreens as a Christmas tree. This task provided us with a tree and did the very important job of thinning the tree stand so the trees have enough space to grow. 

In the early years, our Christmas trees were small. 

Now, despite two households both taking trees each year, we have not been able to keep up. The trees still need lots of thinning and now they are huge. 

I asked Michael if he could bring the chainsaw over from his farm so that I could cut down the tree for my house. The trees need to be double-cut now, and I don’t feel like doing that with a hand saw when this much easier tool exists. 

I think his farmer/slash ex-husband response was something like, “Grumble. Can’t you use a hand saw? Grumble, grumble, grumble. Oil might leak. Grumble.”

I persisted.

On his next transfer over to the farm on J, he brought the chainsaw. I plan to use it later this week. 

When he transferred over, he noticed me outside, in my snow gear and mittens, picking Brussels Sprouts in the cold. We accidentally oversold the Brussels we had in storage, leaving the farmers and crew none to eat for the winter. This is no good in my book, and I figured I would try to pick some before the temps dropped too far and turned them all to mush. 

Michael joined me. And as we farmers do, we started talking about whether this last attempt to have winter Brussels for farmer food would work.  The Brussels we were picking could survive the cold they were currently in (the high twenties), but usually we would wait for them to thaw before picking them. Picking them frozen was bound to damage them, but we don’t really have a choice, as a thaw isn’t coming until after the damaging cold. 

Hmm. Maybe we could lop the top of the stalks off with our loppers? I radioed the pack shed team and they confirm the loppers are currently all at the K farm. Shoot. 

I go back to picking. Next thing I know, Michael is in the Brussels sprouts field with headphones, safety glasses, and a chainsaw. He just started walking down the fields, mowing off the top few inches of the plants where there were still sprouts. 

Tiny chips of Brussels leaves and stalks spewed out behind him. It was a sight to see – low 4 pm winter light, starting to go pinkish, and a confetti of green sprinkled on top of crisp white snow. 

The sound was so loud, our packshed team opened up the shed to see what was going on. I hear Seth J laugh and pull out his phone to take a video. (I’ve posted a photo of facebook and insta if you want to see)

Funny how grumble, grumble, grumble can turn into a new idea. 

Enjoy the last of your Brussels sprouts! (unless our experiment works… to be determined).