The Season By Thirds

If you like, you can divvy up the farm’s season into three parts. The theme of the first third (March, April, and May) is preparation—anticipation, even. Those months are all about getting ready: gathering seeds and soil, hiring a crew, starting plants in the greenhouse, preparing the field for planting. For those three months, the farm is mostly potential and full of promise. The farm never looks so good as it does in my mind’s eye during that time.

The middle third—June, July, and August—is all about resilience. That plan so carefully prepared in the first part of the season never entirely holds together as the work unfolds in those months. And what a lot of work is to be done! Everything is happening, all at once, and the whole crew needs to be swift and nimble to get it all done.

And the last third, which we soon enter, is about one thing only: endurance. Almost all our time now will be spent harvesting, first the fruits of high summer, then later the bounty of fall. We’ll push through the heat and humidity, then through the cold and rain. We’ll push through the accumulated aches and pains, and we’ll push through our declining energy. Two more months of concentrated effort, then a slower, more easeful month of putting the farm to bed for winter, then rest, and dreams of spring.