Helping Hands

Robin tying up plants

Last week, after a storm that brought us severe winds, we were faced with staking up 800 of our 1800 tomato plants in 90 degree temperatures.  Although we are used to hard work on the farm, we were thrilled when Val’s sister Jude, her partner Robin and our brother-in-law Gary came to the rescue with additional helping hands.  Boy were they troopers! All of them being retirees, none of them were used to physical labor of this kind. Jude and Robin were visiting from San Francisco for the week and gave up relaxation time, came out to the farm, to sweat and get dirty.

Rest break

Our family is always amazed at the amount of produce that comes off our 5.5 acre farm.  We have a basic schedule of weeding in the mornings and harvesting in the afternoons.  But when the unexpected happens like storms or pest infestations, we deal with things in the moment of the temporary crisis.  This of course can put us behind for the week, but with the help from our amazing family, the tomatoes were staked and tied in 6 grueling hours (and they still love us!).  After drinking gallons of ice water, breaks for the heat index and sore muscles, we felt we needed to refresh them with showers, drinks and a decent meal.

They had seen the Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad on last week’s post and wanted to try it, so I picked some fresh kale, while Jude and Val dug up fingerling potatoes. We decided to grill filet mignon, then Robin suggested we grill the fingerlings too.  I realized that for all the cooking I have done, I have never roasted potatoes that way.  Don’t ask me why; I don’t have an answer.  So I proceeded to toss them in olive oil, sea salt and minced fresh rosemary.  I couldn’t resist adding some of our hard-neck garlic as well.

Freshly dug fingerlings ready for the grill

We have a gas grill, so I heated it to 400 degrees, put the fingerlings right on the grate and tossed them occasionally.  They were done to perfection in 20 minutes.  Where have I been?  I had missed something this good?

Fresh, grilled and delicious!

I made everyone Brickyard Farms Coolers, and we were ready for a great meal from the farm.  I never take for granted how fortunate we are to walk into our fields to harvest food for dinner.  It just doesn’t get better than this!

Val, me, Jude and Robin showing off their earthy hands!

Gratitude is the memory of the heart!  Thanks so much for all your help: Jude, Robin and Gary!

About twistedbasics

Welcome! Food is my focus, livelihood, art form and my passion. My wife and I run a 5.5 acre organic vegetable farm. Join me fellow foodie as we explore the changing seasons and the food it brings.
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4 Responses to Helping Hands

  1. I love the hand photos! In the various times I’ve spent here and there doing farm work, the thing that made me proudest at the end of the day was the crust of mud caked on my hands, reminding me of the power of hard work to get food.

    ~Marissa from We*Meat*Again

    • Hi Marissa, I have to admit, it took me quite a while to get used to dirty hands and stained nails. One of the things from my city influence I guess. But now it’s natural to be this way and to also be proud of what we do here. Kim

  2. What a great way to connect with family and loved ones — and what a GREAT way to do little new potatoes! I’m gonna try this.

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