Our growing season is very long here at the farm, beginning in February when we put our first seeds in the greenhouse and running nearly year round with greens growing in hoophouses through the winter and with no weeks of the year where something isn’t being either planted or harvested. But the summer growing season, as you can imagine, is the most intense with the majority of our annual growing and harvesting packed into just a few short months. The summer growing season does follow an arc of work though and we’ve come to the point in the season that feels like the middle with the intensity of planting beginning to slow and with it the most intense weeding and the emphasis moving to harvest.
We are seeding, planting, weeding, doing crop care and harvesting each week once summer begins but as of now, the amount of crops that we seed and plant reduces and our harvesting ramps up as we continue our weekly CSA harvest but add on a thrice weekly harvest of cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and soon eggplant and peppers. These fruited crops must be harvested every other day, not just as needed, and mean that we are harvesting something every day. As we did our field walk this morning and wrote out our planting schedule, I noticed with a bit of relief that we had less to plant as well as less that needed hoeing or hand-weeding. June and July, when we are madly planting many crops as well as weeding, pruning, trellising, and harvesting are incredibly intense so as we move toward August, it is a relief to be planting and weeding less especially because soon on top of all of this we will begin bulk crop harvests of garlic and onions then squash and into the fall root harvest.
I’m not sure how it is for farmers in warmer climates but for us here in the North each part of the season is quite distinct and follows a really quite wonderful arc where we desperately look forward to spring after a winter’s rest then are ready for the wind down as fall approaches. I’m not ready to wind down yet! But it’s nice when you can notice the changes that characterize the turn of the year and how, as farmers, it impacts the make-up of our days.2