08 Aug Share week 13: Middle of the lake
We’ve rounded the bend and crossed the line of the middle of the season, at least when you talk about the distribution of CSA shares. As for farm work, our core group has been at it since late January, but our seasonal crew is in that tough month of August, what we call the middle of the lake- the jobs just aren’t as fresh and exciting as when they started in April. Things have gotten repetitive- the harvest schedule doesn’t rest, the days are still long and sweaty, tractors breakdown, an intern quits. The fall crops, prone to both heat and bug damage, need to be babied as seedlings, which requires wrestling with unwieldy row covers, a job no one really enjoys.
The quicker fall roots like radishes are being seeded, as well as crops like tatsoi, kohlrabi and spinach. Yet the farm is still bursting at the seams with tomatoes and peppers and eggplant, the gigantic watermelons require lots of heavy lifting for tired bodies, and the weeds that we’ve missed are chest high, taunting us with their unchecked vigor.
With the steady drone of the late summer cicadas and crickets in the background, we remind our crew that cooler weather and shorter days are just around the corner. We remind them of all the happy CSA members and appreciative market customers, and read them the positive feedback emails we get! And we tell them that the satisfaction of completing a full season on a farm is just an arm’s length away. Soon we will harvest winter squash and fall roots and the summer crops will be a distant memory. Our hands will grow numb with frosty morning harvests, and we’ll miss the joy of watermelon juice dribbling down our chins on a hot sweaty day in August.
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.