The Fullness of Summer

A mornings harvest of greens, fresh in from the fields.
A mornings harvest of greens, fresh in from the fields.

Summer on a farm is a busy time. Most of the days on a farm are busy, but in summer, things really ramp up. July has been a busy month at Rootdown as the CSA (weekly veggie box) program began the last week of June, meaning that in addition to the harvest, weeding, seeding, and transplanting we had already been doing, we added harvest, packing, and delivery for a 70 person CSA to the weekly docket. The good thing is, that while there is some overlap, the spring and early summer tasks of weeding and planting do start to wind down just as the crazy harvesting of high summer begins (that continues to build right into the fall – the peak of harvest season).

And while summer is busy and rather hectic on a diversified, mixed farm, the benefits are huge too. As Simone said the other day at lunch when we had our first large tomatoes of the year, “The season of eating has begun.” There is heaps of food right now. Salad mix is beautiful and abundant; there is kale, chard, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, beets and more. The real tell tale signs of summer have arrived as well – namely, cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, and even eggplant. Those last crops are serious heat lovers, and only produce after a significant amount of hot weather. Oh, and we also began harvesting the garlic last week, even though it is apparently not normally harvested until August here. But it has been a crazy year, and everything is about two weeks early, it seems.

Garlic, one of the most satisfying crops to harvest.
Garlic, one of the most satisfying crops to harvest.
Cherry tomatoes, a sure sign of summer.
Cherry tomatoes, a sure sign of summer.
Aurélie showing off some beautiful radishes.
Aurélie showing off some beautiful radishes.
Even some melons are on their way.
Even some melons are on their way!

 And so we feast, spending much of our time working in the fields dreaming of what will be part of dinner that night, or the next, or the next. I often lament that there are not enough meals to keep up with high summer. And, while I do work up an appetite during the day, it is not enough to keep the inevitable bucket of something from ending up on the compost pile. Sigh, oh well, it is going back to feed the soil next year.

On another note, we had a week of crazy smoke a week ago in Pemberton. As is evident from the news, BC is going up in flames these days. Scary, when you consider that the wildfires were off the charts by beginning of July, when normally fire season in BC doesn’t really get going until August. It was also scary to be in area so affected by the fires and the smoke. I had never before experienced that. The mountains surrounding Pemberton disappeared in the haze, and the thick smoke made it feel like a foggy winter day on the West Coast. The smoke, however, was a lot less pleasant than a foggy day, bringing headaches, scratchy throats, and mosquitoes along with it.

Thankfully, however, the smoke cleared last week, and there were some cooler temperatures and even a small bit of rain. While the wildfires near Pemberton are still burning, I have heard that they are getting closer to containing them, and that the Ilaho fire (the largest one) has at least not grown in size this past week. Fingers crossed. It would probably also be appropriate to say here how much I appreciate the work of the fire fighters working to combat the fires – yay fire fighters!

A field near the farm - on the worst days we could not even see the mountain in the background.
A field near the farm – on the worst days we could not even see the mountain in the background.

Other than smoke and the busyness of summer, everything else is trucking along. The animals continue to grow bigger and fatter – the pigs are getting rowdier every day at feeding time, the little chicks are almost full grown chickens now, the turkeys seem bigger every time I see them, and the lambs (yes, there are a couple of lambs too) are growing plump on their diet of fresh grass and dandelions.

And I am enjoying the fullness of summer on a farm.

The pigs are much bigger than this now.
The pigs are much bigger than this now.
Making friends.
Making friends.
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s