Holy goodness, it’s August

Wow!  I kind of lost track of the blog there in July — too much going on.  But life is good.  The past month has been just an explosion of things growing.  All the stuff we’ve planted over the last few months is now ready for harvest… so we’ve been harvesting, harvesting harvesting all the livelong day.  Additionally, there has been: a fantastic visit with my parents who flew here from Michigan, getting to go horseback riding with a friend of Betsey’s on her lovely saddlebred horses, occasional bike trips to Seattle, eating venison over a bonfire with friends at Betsey’s house, hosting Seattle friends visiting the farm, learning chicken butchery and still being able to eat chicken, hacking at grapevines with a machete, getting to know the regulars at the farmers market, working 7am to 7pm, not getting enough sleep, getting sick with tonsilitis, harvesting potatoes, harvesting tomatoes, harvesting blueberries. Harvesting zucchini and cucumbers from my own garden now.  Etc. Etc. Etc.

It’s been the kind of busy where I go to write in my journal at night and I can’t remember what all I did during the morning.  The kind where I’m trying to recall when it was that something happened and realize it was just yesterday.  Really?  Yesterday?  It seems like a week ago!  But I love it… I love working the farmers market and interacting with customers and talking about the produce.  I love showing off the farm to visitors.  I love hanging out with my farmer bosses as friends during a moment of downtime.  And best of all, I’m starting to noodle on some ideas of what’s going to happen to me in a few months when I’m done with the apprenticeship here.  Stay tuned!

That’s all for now —

B

Tis “The Season”

When we started the internship we kept hearing the farmers talk about “the summer season” when things go crazy on the farm. Back in April, Betsey would take us all out for coffee in the middle of the morning, or Brian would treat us to ice cream after lunch. “Don’t get to used to this,” they would say, “it’s slow right now, we can take a break.” They were only half joking. “Wait til The Season kicks in,” I kept hearing. “Wait til the tomatoes come on. Everything’s going to change around here!”

April, May, and June seemed like a busy enough time to me! It was a lot of work learning new tasks every day, getting comfortable with the workings of the two farms, taking on more and more responibility, becoming more self-directed. I never felt like things were particularly slow during “the slow season.”

But now, just within the last two weeks, I can feel the change. “The Season” is upon us. Some indicators: the volume of produce at Brian’s stand increased dramatically so now we need to bring extra tents and tables. The variety increased a lot too- We have tomatoes and zucchini and cucumbers for sale now in addition to all the greens and carrots and springtime things. Betsey’s crops are starting to be ready for harvest now too; I got to dig potatoes for the first time this week. Garlic harvest is a huge project that will happen all at once this next week or so.

The summer is a time of sleep deprivation for Betsey and Brian and us interns too. The long days and warmer weather have done their job on the crops and there is a lot ready for harvest. If things don’t get picked at the right moment, they get over-mature and are no good for sale. Those vegetables don’t run on our time schedule – when they’re ready they’re ready and we need to harvest them. So the farmers pull long days and we apprentices try to help as much as we can. I’m burning the candle at both ends a bit; evidenced by the fact that I’m posting this at 1:15 am and I plan to be working at 7:30 tomorrow. Oopsies!

With so many things to do it’s easy to forget to take a moment and appreciate what is going on here: all our springtime work is starting to pay off. Seeds that we planted back in April grew into baby plants that we transplanted into the field in May and now we are harvesting broccoli. Crazy! As we ate some zucchini for dinner tonight Erin and I recalled how we had planted those plants into the greenhouse during the very first week of our apprenticeship. It is amazing to me that I’m able to be here doing this in this place with these people… I’m trying to savor every minute of it as it flies by ever faster. Here’s to summer- the tomato Season with all the work and all the bounty that it brings.

As always, new pictures here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/warnerbecky/