The Daily Steward

There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations. 

Washington Irving

The warm breeze wafting through my open bedroom windows make for longful yearnings for the coming spring, though I fear it is yet too early for that spring to be upon us. I do hope you seized the opportunity to open your windows and let the world back into your home to air out the stagnating cold of winter’s chill, and I have greater hope that you find cause to venture outside to soak up some of this late winter sun and this less-than-seasonable warmth, for I fear the grasp of winter’s chill has yet to loose it’s hold. Days like today, telling of the promise of spring and the recommissioning of life after the winter slumber, have a way of invigorating the spirit, that right now is best depicted in the blooming of the yellow daffodils.

This next week I hope to break ground and build the beds for springs first plantings, which I’m hoping to be putting in the first weeks of March. I’m also hoping to get my walk-in cooler set up and the rest of my post-harvest infrastructure built. Seeding in the greenhouse will also resume this coming week, as I start kale, collards, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. I’m ready for some new variety after a long winter of microgreen salads and eggs-every-which-way. I hope you’re ready, too!

Come out and see me at the Winecoff Market tomorrow from 9am til Noon! I’ll have Pea Shoots, Radish Shoots, Sunflower Shoots, Pasture-Raised, Non-GMO Eggs, and also this week, Shiitake Mushrooms grown by my friends Brock and Mary Beth of Blue Merle Farm! I made a stir fry with shiitakes, onions and pea shoots this week… Scrumptious… What else can you find at the Winecoff Market? I’ll tell you what! Pastured Beef, Pork and Chicken, Salsa, Honey, Pimento Cheese, Chicken Salad, Fresh Fish, NC Apples, and so much more. I implore you to come on out and support local businesses that are trying to provide you with a quality product in a sustainable way!

Have a great day, weekend and week! Do try to get outside and enjoy this marvelous creation that is our planet, and let it’s majesty soothe your soul!


The Daily Steward


“The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” 

Proverbs 28:19

Things are picking up while plants are popping up in the greenhouse! As soon as there is a a stretch of dry weather, I can get out in the field and get my first beds prepped for the coming season. Judging by the 10 day forecast, however, it seems that a deluge is more likely. It might be a late start to this season, folks, but that’s how this whole farming thing works. The elements are beyond my control, yet they dictate much in my day to day. I’m not going to stress about it, though. What will be will be, and I will try my best regardless of what the weather throws at me, and no matter what, the veggies will come! Spinach and onions are popping, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, peas and chard are next. Cross your fingers and say a prayer that the rain in the forecast to clear out!

You’ll notice something very familiar to last weeks’ newsletter, that the title hasn’t changed. Why, you may ask? I really like it, truth be told. It rings of the heading of a newspaper, a play on words harkening back to an age gone by, the golden age of the press. It’s also terribly difficult to come up with a title to each weeks newsletter, something that pops and will entice you to open this e-mail and read this prattle herein. More than any of these reasons, however, is that I’d like to think of this as my title, no, my calling in this vocation. I’m not merely farmer, who, according to my pal Merriam-Webster, is “a person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals,” I strive to be a steward, which in my mind is a much grander and nobler undertaking, but also connotes an idea of being of service rather than simply managing. I see myself as tasked with the responsibility of serving the natural environment, making it healthier by my intrusion upon it, and in doing so serve you, my community and my clientele, by providing you one of the basic fundamentals of existence, provided in service that which is produced in service. Perhaps I sound like a broken record, and in some ways I write these words again and again to cement them in my psyche moreso than in an attempt to convince you to patronize me. I know that if I come at this vocation in this attitude of humility and servitude, no matter what, my efforts will not be in vain.

Here’s a great idea: go the the Winecoff Farmer’s Market between the hours of 9am and noon! I will not be there in person, but Street Fare Farm will be represented by the lovely Taylor, aspiring flower farmer and one of the newest farmers at the Lomax Incubator Farm! Be gentle with her, she hasn’t vended at a market in a while, but knowing you all, I know you’ll make her feel right at home! She’s going to have some Pea Shoots, Radish Shoots, Sunflower Shoots and Pasture-Raised, Non-GMO Eggs in tow to dispense to you good people of Cabarrus County!

Where will I be, you ask? I thought it’d be a good idea to sign up for what’s called the Frigid 5k Run and Plunge at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 3 and change mile run followed by a dip in the Catawba River. The air temperature isn’t supposed to be terribly cold in the morning, but it’s supposed to be rainy, and I reckon the temperature of the water will be somewhere in the 40s… Good thing I take these cold showers! I’m going to do my best to bring a medal back for you guys!

Have a great week, and, if you’re so inclined, have a go at finding some way to adopt the mindset of servitude in your work this coming week. Take the ego out of it, and do something solely for the benefit of someone else, even if it’s hard. Give it a try, I bet you’ll like it!


The Daily Steward

“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.” 

-Marianne Williamson

Subdue the Earth

There is something awe-inspiring in these clear winter days, where the sunshine seems entirely too brilliant for the temperature to be as low as it is. Maybe it has something to do with there being no foliage on the trees, thereby allowing more sky to come down so blue-ly around us. February is here, however, and plants are popping in the green house! Onions are started, spinach is next, then there’s only going to be more and more until the first plants go in the ground, hopefully somewhere in the first week of March, though I’ve got a good amount of ground to work (like, any ground, to be perfectly honest) so these little plants will have a happy home. It’s happening though, and I’m ready for some fresh veggies, let me tell you what!

My tractor came in! (See picture below). That’s right. Sexy. Who wants to name her? Now I have the means to push that earth around, build these beds, and really start refining these systems of intensive cropping and equally intensive soil building. I admit, I was starting to go down the road of a more conventional mindset, trying to eek out as many cash crops out of every patch of earth I could, foregoing some of the environmentalistic notions that got me on this road to begin with, in an attempt to make sure I was making enough money to sustain myself and move my business forward. While this was not an altogether bad thing to want, I know, and hope you all also know, that a strong bottom line, while important, shouldn’t be the end goal. In fact, I believe it could be argued that focusing on some of the more qualitative aspects of your daily endeavors will lend itself to building up that bottom line, though I recognize that that is not the rule.

Yes, I need to make money selling vegetables and eggs, but my focus is not on producing more and more in order to sell more. My goal is to build the health of the soil, the health of the ecosystem, to nurture the plants and thereby produce nutrient dense food to nourish my and your bodies. My goal is to build a community around this sort of sustainable food system, and to encourage and facilitate a means of getting you, the consumer, more directly connected to the source of your food. My goal is to do all this while maintaining a balanced life, working hard while maintaining sufficient time away from the job in order to pursue my other interests, of which I have far too many! I implore you to join me in this mission, which I bracket under the broader idea of “stewardship,” which Oxford defines as “the job of supervising or taking care of something,” and let us create a community that values careful quality in all things!

I’ll be at the Winecoff Market tomorrow from 9am til noon, and I hope you will, too! I’ll have Pea Shoots, Radish Shoots, Sunflower Shoots, and a ton of Pasture-Raised, Non-GMO Eggs!

Do you love my girls’ eggs as much as I do? Do you eat them by the carton more than by the egg? Well keep your eyes peeled, because the Street Fare Farm Egg CSA is coming soon! Stay tuned!

Have a great week!