the Jigsaw: Veggie Share Week #16 – 9/22/21

 In CSA Newsletter


First and foremost, I’d like to send out our well wishes to Seth, a crew member who slipped while getting off a skid steer and fractured two ribs. He is out for the remainder of the season, with a 6-8 week recuperation time at home. He will still receive pay, but the toll of being at home and in pain with a slow-healing injury is something we wish upon no one. Here’s hoping his pain lessens exponentially by the day. I share this with you in hopes that you will send out thoughts of care and healing to Seth.

And now onto the Jigsaw….

I enjoy puzzles.

As a child I have fond memories of doing puzzles with family, especially over the holidays in the cold weather. Puzzles are a social thing to do together, where the hands stay busy. It’s one of those activities where the mind can easily work on two fronts – where conversation can be held, but the brain is challenged and activated elsewhere. As a child, I think there was something very satisfying about putting together a beautiful picture where there is an obvious correct answer. There was no gray in that kind of puzzle construction – a piece either fits or it didn’t.

As a parent, I also have enjoyed doing puzzles with my kids. As toddlers/littles this was an especially fun task to do together. We did lots of big huge floor puzzles with a small number of massive pieces. My kids like puzzles a little less now, probably because I so enthusiastically want to do them together, but we have several on the shelves and we enjoy them in the winter. The discovery of family puzzles has been a huge nerdy coup for me. Theses are puzzles where there are different sized pieces so that people of different ages and abilities can work on the same puzzle together!

Okay, so why are puzzles on my mind?

Because I’m bored.

The slow down has finally hit at the farm. There is loads of work to be done, and surely there will be stress points as we run up against frosts, but for the most part I feel calm and unstressed. The season has reached the point where all we do all day long is harvest.  Daily planning and logistics are pretty easy, and mostly we just fill up crates with food and wash them.

I wait all summer long for this slow down. As I am running around managing what feels like hundreds of farm demands and trying to make plans with all the people, the equipment, the weather, and keep things going smoothly, I crave going to work where I’m not staying up late making plans and texting employees starting points at 11pm.

But I’m as human as ever, and so now that I’m here in that slower paced place, I’m bored. No more weeding. No more greenhouse work. No more transplanting.  No more row covering. Tractor cultivating needs are low enough that Mike handles them all now. So it’s just me and the crew, harvesting and harvesting and harvesting.

It’s like going from managing a 1000 piece jigsaw that could be put together multiple ways, to doing one of those toddler puzzles. The challenge is gone. It’s so simple and easy these days.

So as I make my way through the simple time, I am trying my best to soak in how easy it feels. The weather is lovely, my crew has all gelled so well that the conversation is super fun and easy, and I’m not working late nights anymore.

And at the same time, I am trying to internalize this lesson – that I enjoy the challenge of the jigsaw. Sometimes when I’m in the thick of it I feel super stressed and overwhelmed. But what this toddler puzzle boredom is teaching me, is that I feed off the challenge of the jigsaw months at the farm. May through early September, while so very demanding and draining, also feed me as well.  I like puzzles.

Maybe I’ll try to remember that next July when I’m in the thick of it?

Or more likely, I’ll just find myself taking deep breaths and hoping for the slowdown, because after all – I’m as human as ever.

Enjoy your veggies!
Farmer Cassie