A whole month has passed since my last post and I have hundreds of photographs along with stories. My cousin Nell visited and worked on the farm for a week in mid-July. She doesn’t exactly come from the most agrarian wide open space part of the Northeast (NYC), but for 14 years old, she carries plenty of confidence and willingness to try just about anything. Her soft hands and pale skin took on the hottest, muggiest week of summer. Each day was full sun and almost 100 degrees.
Nell embraced every moment and we were able to accomplish many more projects with her around. The kale she transplanted looks fabulous (despite the weeds)! The tomatoes are almost to the roof of the field house since she last pruned! The lisianthus is in full bloom and happily supported by all the netting Nell assembled.
It was great having a family member to work with and show around the farm. We made a good team and had some good laughs. All those popsicles, post work swims, and blueberries kept us going during the heat wave. It’s hard to imagine as I sit here with a cup of tea under my covers while the rain continues to pour. It appears to be all or nothing weather this season.
Between the CSA farm share we have at Mountain View Farm, our home garden, Old Friends Farm, and Crimson Clover Farm where my sister works, we eat really well. Last weekend we made pizzas on the grill. Rather than heat up the house with the oven, grill each side of the dough then add your toppings and grill once more to melt it all together.
One of the best things about summer is eating outside. At the farm, we eat lunch almost every day at the picnic table with a grand view of the Holyoke mountain range. This past week we had a picnic lunch with the true “old friends,” Dana and Mary, who Missy and Casey named the farm after. This time, take out pizza and Snapple!
When you’re farming full time, you deserve a break from hard work. It feels good to surrender to ready made food and beverages. I will add that Tamsin baked a blueberry pie , Casey juiced our carrots, and Mary made potato salad from potatoes she grew.
Watermelons! Although we don’t grow any due to woodchuck’s getting them first, there are plenty of other nearby farms who are supplying my daily watermelon intake.
Lisianthus are here in full swing! After a lot of preparation (burning tiny holes in landscape fabric, laying drip tape, seeding in late winter, transplanting careful not to bother sensitive root balls, staking, and netting), the time consuming rose-like blooms are telling us it was worth all the effort. Aren’t they spectacular? And we have over a ¼ acre to harvest.
This is the time of year when it’s hard to imagine anything but long hot days with relentless weed pressure and 14 foot tall tomato vines threatening to poke through the clear plastic roof. Remember winter? It seems so foreign and out of reach right now. Sadly, some days I find myself looking forward to a good hard frost because that means I can slow down. But then I pop a few fresh blueberries in my mouth and forget I ever considered desiring plants to die back or become dormant.