Newsletter 9/12/18- Hats Off to the Crew
It’s funny how time moves differently through the seasons of one’s life. At the moment, in my life, time feels like it is coming to a screeching halt. A lot of my job has to do with crops and when to harvest them. I spend time walking the fields looking at vegetables that won’t be harvested for 2-3 weeks, trying to anticipate their growth cycles. In the height of summer things grow so quickly that we move through 2-3 successions of spinach within a week or two, trying to cut them before they go to seed. Now we are holding on to those same successions, cutting them as many times as we can until a new bed is ready. I find myself begging the radishes to grow like they did in July, to no end.
With the crops slowing down, we get a little time to breathe and reflect on the season. It seems like just yesterday when the Kestrels were spotted making a nest in the box set up for them on the far edge of the farm and we anxiously waited to break ground for the first time. It also seems like yesterday when I spent a lot of time in the office sifting through applications and interviewing potential candidates. Now, for a lot of the crew their time is coming to an end here. I remember everyone’s first day, walking them around the fields, explaining how things worked on the farm and introducing them to the rest of the crew, hopeful that they would find this farm as a place to grow not only as farmers, but as people too.
For the crew, most of the long hard days are behind us. Sure there is winter squash to get out of the fields, beets and carrots to bulk out later in fall and harvest will not slow down for some time. But we have done a lot in a short amount of time. The garlic was weeded, harvested, cured and cleaned and now for the first time of the year it’s going out into the world. All of the thousands of baby plants were seeded, watered, fertilized, transplanted, and weeded, now they will grow slowly, giving us time to harvest them into the winter. We’ve had an amazing tomato year so far. They started out in the greenhouse happy and healthy, then we meticulously built their houses out in the fields. Before we transplanted them in the ground we pounded T-posts, stretched wire and dug holes where they would live for the next three months. After several rounds of pruning leaves, they began fruiting and harvesting followed shortly after, leaving us scrambling to keep up.
Looking back, it seems like everything happened so fast and it’s easy to forget how much we did, and how we did it. Obviously, nothing would have been possible without the crew and we have had an AMAZING crew. I’m so thankful that people come here every year even though there are a lot of jobs out there that don’t ask you to wade through mud, scoop compost or weed thistle. The people that do show up are really special. They are the kind of people who care about the land, good food and want to have a positive impact on our community. They’re the kind of people who don’t mind working in the heat, rain, wind or snow. They can pick beans for five straight hours and wash thousands of pounds of salad greens in a season. They are also the kind of people who come up with witty slogans to show off our beautiful farm stand to the people who drive by on center road. They’re the kind of people who make it all worth it.
In farming it’s imperative to have your head in the future. What crop is next? What roles need to be filled? What infrastructure will need to be replaced? Where will the weeds come from next? I’ve learned this season that is equally important to remember what we’ve accomplished and how.