Summer time is upon us in full bloom and I must say when I step back, breathe, and look at the whole picture, the farm is absolutely radiant. The sun is now at its highest point in the sky extending its rays with great intensity upon each and every being below. Last week the sun made itself known. It's that time of year when we must pull out the big hats, the sun lotion, and hydrate. Even the greenhouses must wear sun protection. The shade cloths will go up this week so that the seedlings can tolerate the heat to come. This is the time of year when our farming days come the closest to the length of the daylight. It would be neat to see a time lapse of all the places we go and the work we do throughout the day: we are like humming birds, never stopping to rest our wings.
Each morning Janelle and I harvested lettuce at our Lyman Fields, rushing to get the harvest done to be back before the field crew begins at 8am. The field crew was the newest edition to the staff last week and is making the transition into farm life in June: harvest and a lot of transplanting. The mornings start off cool but before we know it the sweaters are off and a sweat is already broken. Erinn and Naomi harvested the last of the lettuce for the Waltham Public Schools. Radishes are beginning to bulb up and the bok choy is a bit bigger than the last generation.
The garlic scapes we picked in the morning were so juicy and aromatic that even that evening in my yoga class I could smell them as I came into downward-facing dog. I'm glad I love the smell of garlic!
We were able to plant the rest of the peppers and cantaloupe last week at our fields in Weston. Our 4th generation of beets went in at Lyman as well as the eggplant thanks to a volunteer group through Boston Cares. At our Waltham site we put in round two of cucumbers as well as okra and more lettuce. On Saturday we had an amazing turn out for our biannual Crop Mob - we were able to collect and put away all the bags, hoops, and floating row cover from the spring brassica plantings. This was a huge feat and had been weighing on our minds.
|Crop Mobsters rescuing the Swiss chard!|
Now we will be able to fertilize, cultivate, and water the kale, collards, and cabbages. In addition, we weeded two beds of Swiss chard and 5 beds of carrots. It is refreshing to see how people who have never met each other can come together and work together to create such a change in the landscape. Thank you all so much for supporting this event. If you weren't able to make it we will be hosting one more on July 23rd.
June is a challenging time of year in that we have an overwhelming amount of work to do, but more so in that it is a time of transition. With each week harvest increases in size, time, and space. We are heading into the hot, sunny and dry weather when we must think constantly about irrigation. There is still seeding to be done both in the greenhouses and in the fields. Transplanting must continue at a steady rate as well as everything that leads up to it. And don't forget the weeds. They are fierce and seem to jump out of nowhere when you aren't looking. They are sneaky that's for sure. But through these challenging times comes transformation. There is the reward of knowing we work hard and the sense of accomplishment that comes with our dedication. We are always learning and through this a deep sense of community forms. We work closely together and we are like family.
I feel grateful for the people I work with
and for the opportunity to work with the land and so close to our food. I just want to say thank you for all the
support from the farm staff and the members of Waltham Fields Community
Farm. It's so easy to get caught up in
|Kamelia, Lauren, Erinn and Shannon bring out fixin's for homemade ice cream |
sandwiches to celebrate Naomi's birthday during lunch break.
I'm learning that it's important to observe through clear and calm eyes and remember to take time to look back on where we have been. Remember when there were almost no leaves on the trees and the fields were barren only a couple months ago? And also to bring ourselves to the present of where we are today, once again the fields bursting with a multitude of the color green, full of growth and bounty. The rhythm of the farm life continues.
Looking forward to seeing some of you at the next Saturday pick up! Enjoy the harvest,
Assistant Farm Manager
For the Farm Crew