No question, it’s crunch time. What happens in July and August makes or breaks the season. And the reality: there’s more to do than there are hours in the day.
Keeping the weeds at bay is toward the top of that list. If we are diligent about cultivating early and often (and so far this season, we have been), we can be in a decent position at this point in the season. But there is always a awful lot of weeding that needs to be done, especially on hot days after good rains, when the weeds grow like, well, weeds.
Responding to pests, too, is important right now. I’ve already sprayed an organic remedy for the Colorado potato beetle twice in the potatoes (and once in the eggplant). I need to spray for the imported cabbage worm soon or risk some pretty holey cabbages and kale. And very shortly the tomato hornworms will arrive, and they, too, will need to be dealt with.
And July also sees the final big seeding and transplanting push for all the crops we need for the shares this fall: broccoli, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, and more. The recent rains have delayed these plantings a little bit, so as soon as the soil is dry enough, those need to get in the ground.
All of which is to say, there is lots to keep us moving with purpose and urgency, as I like to remind the crew (and myself). But in the midst of all the furious activity, there are still satisfactions to be kept in view: Cool, fresh mornings, the grass wet with dew and light mist drifting through the trees at the farm’s edge. Orderly rows of green, healthy crops unfurling across the field in the bright sunshine. Nights full of the trill of the tree frogs, and fireflies winking on and off above the meadow. And, above all, the satisfaction of putting together the shares, boxing up all that goodness, all the fruits of sun and rain and soil and labor and love, and sending it into our members’ homes and on to their tables week after week.