Little peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, kohlrabi, and tomatoes are making appearances in the fields. Green beans have flower buds, and summer squash are bouncing back from their recent pruning with new green leaves, male blossoms (the first to bloom) and lots of female buds promising many fruits to come soon.
Right now our days consist of cultivating, weeding, crop maintenance, and irrigating. Bill strung another line to support the growing pea plants and wove more string to hold the burgeoning tomato plants. I spent an afternoon hand-weeding the cucumber beds while encouraging the vines to climb by wrapping their new length higher on their strings.
We had help from my sister Nicole and our Arizona nieces and nephews. They cleaned up the brassica field (broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, kale) and the green bean beds by pulling weeds Bill couldn't get with the wheel hoe. They also helped with this week's harvest so we could go to the Fourth of July fireworks show in Lone Rock
On average vegetable crops require an inch of water each week to promote healthy growth. With our irrigation system and almost two acres in vegetables, it takes us five days to give that crucial inch to all the fields. So when we experience a couple of dry days, Bill's thoughts turn to figuring where to start watering and what the progression will be. He's a couple of days in this next round right now.
Looking over the fields and seeing the varying colors and textures of the different crops - broad, blue green broccoli leaves contrasting with smoother bright yellow green beans; red lettuces and chard complimenting curly purple kale - all please my eyes. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude for this rewarding, stressful, and busy work we do.
I think about the many farmers and gardeners who have come before us, especially ones that are no longer with us, yet, nonetheless still influence us. I wonder what they would say if they were standing here with me. Would the view please them? Would they also feel satisfaction and gratitude? I hope so.
And, as always, all these feelings overwhelm me with the desire to thank our members, friends, and family for supporting us this season. We hope you are enjoying your boxes of vegetables, pastured meats, eggs, and syrup.