After being away for a week on business, the pile of work at the farm was higher than usual. Luckily, our friends Adam and Christina came by to help out! They spent the weekend here, and between games of Settlers of Catan we got a lot of work done- weeding beds, spreading manure, planting sprouts, things like that. This is one of the parts I like best about this whole farm business: bringing friends together to work and enjoy each others’ company. At the risk of sounding like some weird traditionalist, I really value the social importance of shared labor. It gives you a context to interact with people, while keeping your hands and body busy. Like softball or bowling, but more productive.
It was fun to see how much the garden grows if you can’t see the progress for a week. The potatoes took off, the corn is on autopilot, and the beets are a pretty blanket of purple. Some things like cucumbers and tomatoes aren’t doing as well, but Emily says I am being overly critical and just need to give them a chance. It’s been really cold and rainy so far this summer, and that isn’t good for those types of veggies.
That will be one of the most interesting parts of this year- seeing what grows well here, and what is going to take extra work. I still want to grow everything, but we might plant heavier on the stuff that really likes this area, and make that our focus for sales. Things like broccoli- yummy, and loves cold rainy weather; I’m expecting that one to do really well.
The orchard is coming along smashingly. I’ve been largely ignoring it in the last month or so, since the vegetables need more attention this time of year. It made the growth the saplings have put on really apparent, compared to last time I tended them. Here’s Emily loving on a Moonglow Pear. The inattention has also left the entire orchard looking derelict. The grass is higher than Christina, who was barely visible as she was flailing away valiantly with a grass whip, trimming away around the base of the trees. I’m going to borrow a weed whacker and cut it back for real next week, I think, so we can actually get around in there. This fall when things slow down a bit, I need to go back in and pull out boulders, level furrows, and make it safer to walk around, and maybe even put a sheep in there to do the mowing for me.