This week it’s no laughing matter

Dean and Jenifer Mullis on a warmer day

Dean Mullis writes usually hilarious dispatches from his Laughing Owl Farm northeast of Charlotte, which he runs with wife Jenifer and their two children. He doesn’t keep his blog updated, but go there now to sign up for his email newsletter. Seriously, I’ll wait… This slightly edited entry below is from last week. If you romanticize about farming, read and weep. If you complain about the price of farmers’ market food, don’t. (I used to, until I finally realized what farmers go through. I’ve stopped now. I swear, Noah.)

From Farmer Dean:

“We had planned to have collards available this Saturday at Charlotte, but Tuesday’s night’s lows in the single digits nixed that. Most everything is dead. Mustard, turnips, beets, 2,100 feet of hand-planted fava beans, all turning to mush. Over a half-acre of mush.

Dean doesn't look too dangerous on this summer day at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

“We got our fall crops planted late because it was so hot and dry in October. Record-setting hot and dry. Now we are having record setting cold.

“Thousands of transplants, started in the greenhouse by Jenifer, and set out by Jenifer, are now mush with no economic value. The labor will not be compensated. She busted her ass for no return.

I will have eggs, white turnips without tops, and daikon radishes at Saturday’s market. If anyone utters that my stuff is too expensive, I am liable to jump across the table and engage them in a fist fight. I would suggest you not mess with me Saturday…”

If you haven’t already signed up for Dean’s dispatches, do it! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn tons about turkeys, taters, testy  farm equipment, and tunes of all genres.

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