On the Farm- June 28
The summer is a time of keen intensity for me; it is constant motion, the perpetual arrival of new thoughts and tasks to stay on top of. Hours slide into each other, and each day rolls into the next- I look at the calendar and can scarcely believe it is July. But if I have any doubts about the time of year, they are discounted by the tender summer squash I just sautéed with chanterelles, and savored for my supper.
Spring is consumed by planting- seeds shaken from the hand into custom mixed potting soil, plants moved into to field. But as we move into July, the planting wanes. I find myself with only two pages left of my seeding schedule. My weekly task lists only entail a few planting jobs, seeding lettuce successions and fall brassicas, moving Brussels sprouts to their rototilled bed. When I slide back the mural, the greenhouse door, I am hit with hot moisture but also with the emptiness- space where I once struggled to find a place for each new tray. The greenhouse mice and chipmunks have less to munch on, and I have little work to do there.
Instead, I settle my body down, into a very familiar position. Two knees down, arms reaching to the right and left, while fingers pull weeds from around the growing crops, and now and then I will adjust, raising off of one knee or the other, taking a half kneel, a squat, or bending at the waist. My body takes these positions, it really takes them, holds them- it might hurt to stay in them, but it is also hard to stretch out of them. So I let me self stay there, and move on and on, plant by plant, row by row- giving crops root space, air movement, less competition for nutrients and light- I turn a bed of Shepherd’s purse into a bed of carrots, carrots we can eat.