In the course of a week, the farm exploded. It happens every summer. Suddenly the grass is growing as fast as I can mow it, the weeds have pushed through in places they weren’t just a week ago and the daily picking takes enough time to need to be scheduled.
So what does a sensible couple do? Go on a trip. That’s right. We left. We walked away for a week. We went to New Orleans and ate and looked at art and had clean hands and clothes and it was wonderful.
Now the mess around here is arguably worse but not enough to make up for getting some time eating amazing food someone else prepared.
Anyway, all of this coming from the ground will be returned to it, in one form or another. The nutrient cycle is amazing.
I’m still learning how to think differently from the conventional ag of my training but I’ve come a long way.
I’m learning to see the weeds as soil indicators and even helpers. “Clean” fields are no longer appealing.
That said, the daily rains have created jungle that threatens my sanity. The rains also wash away the diatomaceous earth we use for slugs in the bed the birds can’t access so that has been a fun game. Some of the tomatoes are splitting and the late garlic was lost to wet ground.
There is still hope for the potatoes.
Cover cropping and intercropping concepts are finally really integrated into our management program. They also look impressive. A stand of amaranth or sun hemp is as lovely as anything to me.
At long last, we’ve stopped growing things we don’t really like. The lone exception is Puck growing eggplant. No one really likes it around here. My son, it turns out, chose it as his crop for the season because he thought his vegetarian mother would like it. Yea…
The okra looks great but I’m already tired of cutting it and bored with eating it. It feels like the bites of a thousand fire ants when I touch it so maybe that detracts from its appeal.
The popcorn, although a different color than I thought I planted, was a success and we are excited about it. It is smaller than store bought but has a really pleasant nuttiness that makes it better.
We are eating more from our ground than from someone else’s and that is a great feeling.
The chickens seem to have preferences about the podcasts I listen to while I work in the gardens. I think it is because I raised them on NPR so they get excited to hear Molly Wood or Peter Sagal. Seriously, I left a radio on in the brooder all day tuned to NPR so they could hear Performance Today and now they are well informed little dinosaurs.
I’m not sure what is wrong with me that all my curry dishes taste the same. I swear I can use DIFFERENT spices and it all tastes the same. I have a super sensitive palette, so this is a real thing, people. I’ve diagnosed it as curry monotony.
The struggle outside seems to mimic the struggles in my mind. Beautiful and messy and hard to manage until you give up on controlling it.
I’d love to pretend I’m not bothered by the the divide between by sustainable ag friends and the conventional farmers in my life. I am. I spend a huge amount of time biting my tongue, which is shocking, even to me.
Then there are the strains of work issues beyond our control, economics and always plunging forward into an unknown future… I don’t know how the next generation is surviving. Cheers, millennials. I’m sorry for this mess. Come over and I’ll feed you.
I know, such is life.
I’m trying to exist in a healthy place somewhere between the numbness of depression and the obsessive awareness that brings untenable anxiety.
So, I’m going to pick watermelon.
Happy eating, Katy