Two weeks past the solstice and I still find myself reflecting upon it. The longest day of the year marks so many transitions on the farm that superficially seem to have little to do with it, and yet our daily tasks have subtly shifted. From relentless greenhouse seeding and transplanting, we’ve transitioned to increasingly large and diverse harvests, the ever present challenge of managing weeds, and irrigating our shallow sandy soils in dry spells.
I always find July to be something of a balancing act. The big greenhouse and transplanting push is over, but we are still planting for the fall. Harvesting our ever increasing bounty is consuming more and more of our time, yet there is still so much to be done to ensure our late season crops are successful. Stuck right in the middle of that are tomatoes, who keep teasing us by getting taller and taller and setting beautiful but unripe fruit.
The true balance of July is knowing which weeds need to be eliminated and which will not cause the crop failure to thrive. Who needs water today and who can survive without? Can the squash harvest wait until tomorrow or will they be baseball bats? Do the tomatoes need to be tied again?? How can we keep the deer from eating the strawberries? The list goes on. Everything seems to happen so fast.
And yet, we seem to end each day feeling satisfied that we have done good work. We’re seeing the first eggplant flowers. The tomatoes almost the size of baseballs. The flower garden is just about ready! There’s a beautiful bounty in the farm shares and the farm stand. We’re loving it.