July is our plateau. We have planted all of our major crops. We are starting to spend more time harvesting crops than caring for them. The days are getting shorter. The farm crew is halfway through their season with us. All of these things are happening this week and I can’t find the tomato stake driver.
Amongst the straight rows, uniform crops, and closely timed succession plantings, agriculture does very well to mimic nature and all of her chaos, especially on this farm in July. When we stop to look around at what we do for a living here we’re either amazed, horrified or a bit both. I could wax poetically about the successions of the seasons, the wondrous cycles of life and death we witness, or the nobility of a days work, but in reality farming is about taking a whole year to make a mess and then clean it up.
We are growing twelve acres of vegetables this season. On those twelve acres we have 48 different crops and within those crops over 120 different varieties. Each crop and many of the varieties require their own specific treatment (spacing, trellising, watering weed control, etc) and most treatment has some special tool. Over the course of a season, try as we will to stay organized, all of this stuff that we need gets spread all over the place. Imagine hammers, lawn staples, wooden stakes, plastic tubing, rope, wire hoops, irrigation pipe and thousands of square feet of white row cover spread over twelve acres. Now most things are stacked or collected in buckets which helps them from “going back to the earth” but that doesn’t make it any easier to find the one bucket of staples when you can’t remember in which 4000 square foot tomato house you left them. Thankfully much like the big bang/big crunch formation theory of the universe, July signals a stop to our outward momentum and we now begin the slow process of coalescing back into a tighter, more dense pattern i.e. our mess is hidden in the barn for the winter.
Come join the farm crew from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm Wednesdays in July to help tackle some of our weeds and chit chat while we work. It’s a great way to get into the fields and see what’s going on with your food as well as to get to know some of the folks that work hard to bring it in each week. Meet at the CSA barn at 11:00 each Wednesday and we’ll go down to the fields together.
What’s in Upic
Peas (waning, they don’t like the heat)
Flowers (just a few to start)
What’s in the Share
Coming next week…carrots!