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On the Farm . . . what's happening this week

While we've slowed down from summer's constant pace of field maintenance, harvesting, packing, loading, delivering, along with the weekly farmers market, we've found more than enough to keep busy.

Bill has spent quite a few hours replacing the motor in our skid steer so he can put compost on the fields before winter. Plant debris is being removed from the beds although a few tomato plants still have ripening tomatoes hanging on them in the hoophouse alongside the newly growing spinach, lettuce and chard. It feels weird in there - caught between summer and winter - reminds me of the song lyric, "Should I stay or should I go now?" I've been weeding the winter crops and fretting over whether or not there is enough and if it is growing fast enough.

After 23 years together, Bill wisely nods his head when I start the litany of all that could go wrong this season. If he can't sneak away, he calmly remembers other times I've worried we won't be able to deliver on our promise to you, our farm members, but we have. Both of us carry the weight of responsibility your membership brings. We've made a promise to provide you and your family with local, nutritious, and organic produce from our farm in exchange for your payment which supports our farm and family financially.

We get excited when people join us for the season. We make plans for seed purchases, for tools to make us more efficient or lighten our workload, or even to buy new boots. We sow seeds, tend beds, and do our paperwork. Yet as we get closer to harvesting and packing the first boxes of the season, my stomach gets queasy, my version of stage fright I guess. What have we done? How can we pull this off? What if we didn't plant enough? What if we suffer crop failure? What if we can't honor our end of the agreement? Bill reminds me that is why we planted different varieties and extra rows. He points out that we've learned much and each year are better farmers than the we were the year before. Lastly, he wisely agrees, we will never do everything perfectly. Some things like inclement weather are out of our hands, but we must trust in our knowledge and preparations, in the miracle of photosynthesis, and in your support. Of course, he wishes I would relax a little and be less controlling while I wish he would pick up his tools. I guess it is good to have something to work on.

I want to be up front with you, we may make mistakes this season, but please know: we do our best to fill every box with vegetables to nourish you and yours. While it feels right to worry sometimes, especially as we begin a new season and meet new members, know also: that we love the opportunity you give us to work together with the sun shining on our faces. What could be better?

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