Winding Down Now For Sure

The season is winding down now for sure. When we begin our days, the sun is just beginning to crest the horizon, and long gone are the evenings when it was light enough to work until bedtime. (Not that I have the energy at this point in the season to do that anyway.)

This warm weather certainly is an anomaly. To still be working in short-sleeve t-shirts this late in October is unusual, as is the fact that we still haven’t had our first frost of the season—that usually happens by the second week of the month. In terms of what’s happening in the field, this lack of a frost really doesn’t mean much at this point. A little frost would be helpful to knock down the last few bugs hanging around, and it does help sweeten up many of the fall crops, but most of the vegetables that would have been killed by a frost have already pretty much faded away.

These balmy days sure are nice for wrapping up all the end-of-season farm tasks, though. We’ve checked off many of those, but one crucial job still remains: planting next season’s garlic. If all goes according to plan, that will happen next week. And once those little cloves are tucked in the soil and dreaming of spring, we will be ready for winter.

Watching Through the Seasons

One of the great joys of my job is watching the farm cycle through the seasons: from sleeping under its blanket of silent snow, to its thaw in a rush of water and light, to its burst of gold and green in the spring, its midsummer riot of growth, its abundance of high summer, and, now, its long descent toward winter, when it will sleep again.

And of all these movements, I love fall the most. I love how mornings can be cool and misty, afternoons warm and sunny, evenings clear and quiet. I love the variety of vegetables coming out of the fields as the harvest moves from the fruits of high summer to the sustaining roots of winter. I love how the work load lightens just enough to take full notice of all these changes, and how I have space in my head to begin to conspire about next year. And, perhaps above all, I love the satisfaction of coming to the end of a full season of hard work and the privilege of growing good food for all you good people.