This week our box intro was sent to us by a member in Squamish!. Colin clearly knows his vegetables and what to do with them so I'm leaving the What's in the box section up to him a the end of the newsletter. We are so pumped to get this video and can't wait to share it! What a great surprise! But... Before we get right into the box and the vegetables, I also want to introduce you guys to John. John applied for our farm-hand job while on the road. We video interviewed him from the road and he made his way to the farm to start his season of farming. He and I are going to bounce the newsletter back and forth so everyone can get a feel for who is growing your food from all sorts of angles. Sometimes news from the farm... maybe even sometimes just general thoughts about other things not remotely related to farming. We really don't know yet, but we will always circle back to What's in the Box. That way you will know where to find that important information. John met Ash Collie for the first time in May and since then, they have spent some solid time getting to know one another.
Kerry and Andrew run the farm, but Ash Collie, Kerry’s collie, is its literal spirit animal. I have met many dogs in my life, but Collie may be the very best boy I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. My dog at home, Winston, a Wheaton Terrier, doesn’t hold a candle to Ash. He barks at anything that passes in front of my house, and won’t wait 5 seconds before diving into any food left within reach. Hazel, an Irish Setter, is currently in the top seat. She was my roommate’s dog at university. He was busy studying engineering so for a year she was basically my dog too. She was beautiful, smart and playful. Her barks sounded like she was conversing with you, changing in tone. But Collie is quickly rising in the ranks.
Ash has been lucky to be a farm dog for nearly his whole life. Kerry rescued him when he was about a year old, and since then he has always been by her side. He is quick to be friends with anyone he meets, but he is especially devoted to her. They are a team within the team.
In the mornings, when we come into the Wash Station to get ready for the day ahead, Ash is the first one we meet. When he sees you coming, his face brightens and his fluffy tail wags. The first few pets are never enough, and he paws and looks up at you for more. If you don’t give it to him, he’ll move on to someone else, or flop on his back and calmly demand a belly rub. There may be few things that feel as good as a belly rub feels to the Collie.
Ash’s eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, so sometimes when he sees someone coming, he can’t make out who it is. His protective instincts take over and he unleashes firm, short barks. As you approach, he comes closer, and soon realizes his mistake. His tail lowers and his face takes on the unmistakable tone of embarrassment. But soon, once cuddles are exchanged, all is forgiven. On sunny mornings, when we are racing against the heat to finish the harvest, Collie takes a nap inside the cab of the work truck. When we bring our bins over to put them in the shade, he pokes his head up. He gets a few pets and we get a boost of cuteness. His thick coat prevents him from being too active on hot days, but we are thankful for his encouragement. Cooler, wet days are Collie days. He roams the field voling – hunting for field mice. His matching black and white brother Greebo, Kerry’s cat, taught him how to do it. Sometimes he gets carried away, and we have to spend a moment scanning the field for him. When we call out “Collie!” he prances back towards us with a big smile on his face. Already with a stomach full of voles, at lunch Ash is no stranger to mooching, but he does so with nonchalance. He does his rounds, taking a look at what vegetables everyone has today, and either picks the most delicious or the weakest will and makes himself look pretty. Who can blame him for trying to get a taste of our fresh veggies? A short no or shake of the head will suffice to make him move on, but he does not forget – taking up a new position, he eyes you over his shoulder hoping for you to drop something, a stray morsel or your guard. In the afternoon, the day is too hot for Collie. He retires back to the farmhouse for another nap. It's too bad he can’t be around, but we all look forward to seeing him again soon. Now a Collie seems indispensable from the idyllic dream of having my own land and subsistence farm one day, but I will have to find my own, for there will only ever be one Ash.
What's in Veggie Box #4: This week's unboxing is brought to you by PJ and Colin in Squamish. Receiving this video last night at the end of a really big delivery day was such a highlight to this season. Thanks so much! Enjoy everyone!
How awesome was that?!