Since I began farming I’ve noticed that my sense of hearing has become more acute. With our heads bent, often focused on the task at hand, be it hand weeding carrots, navigating a narrow pass with the tractor or focusing on bunching greens, my eyes are often drawn downward, and sounds emerge from the fabric of the farm. The silence followed by a renewal of birdsong often will tip me off to the arrival then passage of a rain storm long before I can see it, and the hums, rumbles, and whines of our different farm trucks and machines have become distinct personalities around the farm. With the arrival of summer has also come noises that remind me of why I’m happy to be working on a community farm – excited greetings of our workshares after a season apart, the sounds of kids happily exploring the children’s garden, the hum of a bee rummaging inside a squash blossom, friends running into each other at the farm stand, and the frequent laughter of our crew in the fields.
In this farm symphony, the music moves ever onwards, never stopping and always changing. This hot, mostly dry week has made great conditions for weeding and cultivation projects. We try to keep the low ominous rumble of impending weeds away while providing our other thirsty crops with adequate water. As our team sets up irrigation around the farm, we have been finding ourselves very grateful to have our new underground irrigation system installed – a development that improves efficiency, decreases time spent repairing leaking line, and helps conserve water – all things farmers like.
All this water and heat has meant that our tomatoes are exploding with growth – it seems that as soon as we finish twining them, they’re ready for another twine. Our crew has been great at keeping up with stake pounding and twining, and as a result our tomatoes are happy as ever. You can see some of their work in the front field by the farm stand, planned to be a pick-your-own field this year! Keep an eye out too, for summer squash and cucumbers in your share. Our cucurbits are picking up the pace, and beneath their broad leaves we’ve been finding a bounty of summer squash, zucchinis, and the beginnings of our cucumber harvest, including my personal favorite, the Poona Kheera cucumber. I think this particular cuke is a good reminder to be bold when trying new veggies – while it looks far from what you’d imagine a typical cucumber to be, your tastebuds as well as your ears will be rewarded with the satisfying crunch of this delicious variety.