With the weather finally turning summery here, we are feeling busy again with long days of work. All of the main summer planting was caught up on by the solstice, and now we are ready to move on to starting seeds for fall (already!). The tomatoes and peppers and green beans have reveled in the warmth and now look happy and healthy again. Some crops that we thought weathered the cool late spring well, like the summer squash, have just been sitting with buds on them for three weeks: frustrating! But, we are sure those flowers will be opening next week with just a bit more heat. Because the slug pressure was so much higher this year than normal, some crops were really hard to get good stands of. We planted and replanted cucumbers a number of times only to have most of the shoots eaten down by slugs. We lost one whole variety, but now the slugs have to hide from the sun rather than eat and crawl around freely under the clouds, and our other two varieties have outgrown the damage and look good. As I mentioned before, we have covered a lot more crops than we ever have before with some recycled greenhouse plastic…hopefully this will help hurry some of our delayed crops to fruition.
The weeds, unfortunately, were not deterred by the cool weather and although we could get out and do some hand and hoe weeding during the wet spell, we couldn’t cultivate always. The farmer has done a good job staying on top of things, but weeding is a big part of our work everyday. Each year, though, we are able to control the weeds better, and we are glad to see the difference in how much weed pressure we have to deal with as a result. I wish I could say the same for the landscape and space around the house! It is always neglected in favor of work in the veggie field, and as determined as I was to make some progress with it this year, I am getting to be a much slower weeder the closer we get to baby’s arrival.
We are glad to say good-bye to June, it was certainly a struggle in many ways. We have high hopes for July, and the rest of summer. Everything looks better under a sunny sky, anyways. Each year, it seems, this farming thing has thrown us one challenge or another. Some days, it can seem like to much to master, when so many of the elements can be out of our control. Most days, though, we only see the crops doing well, the fun conversations and friendships made with market and CSA folks, the birds singing in the quiet country, and the children running wild and free. We wouldn’t choose another way of living, or any other thing to do to both earn our livelihood and do our duty to the world. It is a blessing and an honor.