Crops Update: Surviving the Heat

We made it through the one hundred degree days without spontaneously combusting, which might come as surprise given the dire tone of the media’s coverage of the heat. We moved a little more slowly, drank more water, and sweated, but the breeze blew and cooled our bodies and we got things done. Then it rained again, and the mud tried to twist our boots off as we plodded up and down the sodden fields carrying crates of greens. We took advantage of the cloudy and cool weather to begin the garlic harvest—lots of heavy lifting.

Last week, before the warmest days arrived, we got great help from three volunteer groups. We’ve been working with groups from Care.com for many years, and this past Tuesday about twenty volunteers from the company helped us weed beans, dig potatoes, and harvest the first of the storage onions (pictured below). They also helped carry the onions up into the barn loft for drying, which is a workout similar to holding a thirty pound kettle bell on the stairmaster!

On Wednesday afternoon, the Virginia-based Church of the Brethren visited after having spent the morning weeding at another area farm. This congregation focuses its volunteer efforts on agriculture and food justice. After planting many trays of fennel, basil and lettuce, the chaperones gave the kids the choice of weeding beets with us or touring the farm. They voted to weed with us, and it was a pleasure to have their help a while longer.

On Thursday afternoon, civil engineers from Green International returned to the farm for a second year of volunteering and planted many trays of fall broccoli, cabbage and turnips (pictured below), totaling over 4,000 individual seedlings. And on Friday, volunteers from the community helped us dig potatoes and pick beans for market, before weeding two beds of carrots.

Thanks all for helping us in the fields, and a special thank you to the Crops team for setting up the stand on Sunday and pre-harvesting for restaurants on Monday while I was enjoying a rare two days away from the farm with family and friends on Cape Cod. We ate corn and cucumbers and were grateful for those who work in all kinds of weather to feed us.

See you in the field,

Your Farmers

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