On the Farm- July 27th
I work and think a couple of months into the future. The calendar tells me that it is almost August and my brain jumps to the end of the season. I am planting and cultivating our fall crops, finding newly freed space in the field to sneak them into. My head is in the broccoli, the late carrots and parsnips, the melons and leeks- things we won’t eat for some time, things that signify fall and the end of the season.
Walking on matted straw, bending over, head upside down, I spy a ripe cherry tomato- its golden orange speaks of its lusciousness. I pop it in my mouth and the sweetness draws my thoughts back from October. The truth is that we are really just hitting our stride. The CSA is not even half way through; we have 14 pick-ups left and plenty of new crops rolling in each week.
The plentiful peas and tender spinach are all done, turned back into the soil. We will not taste spinach till the fall and peas won’t grace our palate again until next spring. But we fill our meals with what we have now, with what we can eat seasonally. Chard can take the heat and as its leaves fill out, I chop it and put it in my eggs, my pasta. The beets continue to flourish- they feel like the back bone of our share this year- consistent where they were unreliable in past years. Disease and pests have weakened our cucumber crop, decreasing their yield and quality, making each cuke precious until later plantings kick in to supplement the first. Instead, we feast on delicate summer squash and get our vegetable crunch from sweet peppers. We head out to the field and hunt for those cherry tomatoes, gather them into our boxes, and let their flavor fill us with a contentment, not of what we had or will have, but with what is ripe now.