I have learned so much this summer. I have allowed myself to get lost in the grind of the farm for months now. The morning light starts my day and inevitably I work until there is no more light outside for me. It has been good, tiresome, but so good. In my tired moments I curse the world and my choice of this life. Nature is constant- there is no vacation for nature. The plants will always need watered, the weeds will grow regardless of if I am tending to them or not, and the animals need daily attention, care, and nourishment. The days that I feel vibrant- I consider adding another 20 chickens to the flock and tilling up the big field for planting. But I am swiftly reminded that I am but one woman and can only do so much. So I work diligently, caring for what seeds I have started.
This year there have been losses that feel heavy and sad at every remembrance. My whole crop of kale was eaten within two nights by bugs. Kale is one of my big sellers and this was not only a sad loss because I love to eat kale, but an expensive one. The peonies I put in this year contracted a rot disease and I only saw three worthy blooms out of 20 plants! Six of our chicks ended up being roosters (about a third of our whole batch) - so we have chicken in the freezer now and only 15 laying hens. One of our chickens was beat up by the others and her head was pecked to her skull and I had to kill it all by myself one early morning before market harvest. If you know me well, you know that things like that set me back and break my heart for awhile. And last weekend my Grammy passed away. I was luckily by her side when she passed but have been away from the farm for two weeks to be with her and then there for her funeral and arrangements. I have come home to weeds, rotting veggies, bolted lettuce and greens, and I am very behind in fall planting. Alas, this is what comes of being a one woman show- and a woman that is still learning and growing.
And then there is the other side of the coin. There have been great successes and sweet surprises that have kept me afloat and happy when everything else has been glum. Such as the rouge self sowed crop of pumpkins in my compost pile- unexpected, but beautiful and useful considering pumpkins was something I did not get to sowing this year. The cucumbers were epic this summer- they seemed like they would go forever. They were sweet and delicious. The fennel, leeks, and ground cherries get bigger everyday and will be a happy usher into fall. The amount of basil (5 varieties) this summer has been spot on. The freezer gets fat with pesto and my customers are happy making tomato, mozzarella, and basil stackers weekly. I am so lucky to have my business partner be the ever abundant, forgiving, and fruitful earth. There is a glut of tomatoes out there, just waiting for their turn- they are red, orange, green and ripe for the picking. Even when the farm is abandoned, nature keeps setting fruit and growing.