I speak for the entire farm crew when I say that I’m good and tired.
After a half year working together, our muscles and bodies are sore, and our minds now require a rest from alarms in the five o’clock hour. This summer has been, for me, quite the challenge, as I’ve learned to navigate running this farm and being busier than I’ve ever been in my life. The rest of our team, too, has been starting at 7 AM since late March and working weekends and evenings on a rotating schedule to ensure plants are watered and our vegetable pickups go off without a hitch.
To date, we’ve distributed about 6,000 weekly shares between the main and spring seasons. We’ve planted miles upon miles of vegetable plants in weather ranging from the chill of early April to the soaring mercuries of August. In the past few weeks, we weeded–by hand–about three miles of carrots plants and harvested over 6,000 pounds of potatoes, both to be shared with you in the coming few weeks.
Although I am deeply tired, I wake up and am now energized by the coming cold. It is a reminder that droughts and heat spells end. In fact, it is a reminder that all things come and go; it is not just a seasonal produce farm we run, it is a truly seasonal world in which we live. That includes, sadly, good things: our tomatoes are the most striking
example, but all vegetables we grow (and all plants in general) are truly seasonal in nature, with a rhythm to their life cycle that goes, either quicker or slower than we’d like but never at a pace that fits perfectly into our preordained boxes, from germination to production to senescence.
In life in general, we also find that relationships follow a rhythm and a cycle. Friends, when we are deeply lucky, come to us when we sometimes least expect them. Often, life goes on and we drift apart. And then, as we gain in age, we often draw closer again unexpectedly, tenfold luckier than we were in the original circumstances. The seasons come and go similarly. Summer ends Tuesday with the autumnal equinox, and I have speculated on that possibility for weeks. Still, am I pleased to see the heat pass? Or am I sad to feel a shiver in my spine on the first cold Friday? I’m not positive. It doesn’t matter, of course–the weather will do what it will.
Much of our summer, it should be said, was spent both enjoying the rich rewards of our spring hard work and preparing for fall. As temperature and humidity ratcheted up in July and August, we planted out thousands of cold-loving plants, like madmen knowing that fall would have to come. As a result, we’re able to roll out our fall crops over the next few weeks with enormous pride. And because of its absence in our lives, the cold energizes us. As root crops store away sugars and sweeten for the winter ahead, we, too, revel in mornings spent reading rather than uncovering lettuce and evenings spent baking and at bonfires rather than….well, covering that same lettuce.
And then, because of the cold, when the heat comes again, we will find ourselves tenfold luckier than we are now.