The Impossible Month

July is the impossible month.

For starters, we still have greenhouse work to keep up on. Not much, and not for much longer, but we need to seed crops like fall broccoli and kohlrabi, as well as successions of mini-cabbages and lettuces so that we have enough food for the CSA shares at the end of the season.

So that’s a few items on the to-do list.

And we are still transplanting. Though the main summer crops are all in the ground, we’re about to start planting the primary fall crops: fresh plantings of kale, plus collard greens, storage cabbages, cauliflower and more. Again, if we don’t keep up with these tasks, we run the risk of smaller shares in September and October.

A few more things on the list.

And we have to stay on top of the weeds. Granted, this becomes harder and harder the deeper we get into the season, and at a certain point the job becomes mainly triage, but we at least have to try. Otherwise, the weeds compete with the crops for sun and soil and rain, eventually choking them out.

This list is getting a little long.

And we have to monitor for pests and respond accordingly. The ones that showed up this week are the Colorado potato beetle and the cucumber beetle. The Colorado potato beetle infestation is small enough that we might be able to control it via manual control (a.k.a. smooshing them), but I will have to spray an organically-approved product for the cucumber beetles. Plus, I saw imported cabbage moths fluttering around the fields today, presumably laying their eggs. So a third infestation is waiting in the wings.

Three more items added to the list.

And we have to make time for maintenance tasks like driving tomato stakes and running irrigation lines (in the hope that someday it might stop raining).

Hold on a second while I set up this second chalkboard so I can fit the rest of the list.

Plus we’re harvesting two days a week, soon to be three, which is a joy and, really, the whole point of the enterprise, but, still, it takes time, which is in shorter and shorter supply even as the harvest docket grows longer. Plus there is tractor work for me to do to make sure we have fields prepared for the crops we are seeding and transplanting. Plus shopping for a new delivery vehicle for when the old farm truck finally gives up the ghost. Plus … well, I’m sure you get the gist.

July is the impossible month.