By Bryan Alexander, Clifton Farm Manager
Summer’s here! It seems like it’s right around this time every year when nothing can go right. There’s too little rain…then there’s too much rain. It’s too hot, then it’s too cloudy. The right tool breaks at the wrong time, or you have to make that frantic run to the store for more twine when – oh no! – the tomatoes needed to be trellised yesterday!
And then all of a sudden, it just happens: you’re up to your eyeballs in farm fresh tomatoes…and okra…and melons…and peppers…and MORE…and you’re just too busy (and well fed!) to worry anymore. It happens every year. Last week, I was compulsively pacing our poor beds of beet and eggplant seedlings that were flooded out in the rain; now, out of nowhere, we have more tomatoes and potatoes and beans than we know where to store them. And it’s only the beginning! The peppers are blushing red and the okra is loaded with beautiful purple flowers. Who grew this stuff anyway!?
It’s a friendly annual reminder that farming is a grind, but an immensely satisfying one. There’s always too much to do, and the most we can accomplish is to give our plants good enough conditions to do their job – that is, to grow, and flower, and fruit like their lives depend on it. Our reward for toughing it out through March snows and July heat? The full bounty of summer produce that brought most of us into agriculture to begin with! Our crew has been working hard, and so have the plants. Now all that’s left to do is keep up with the harvest and make sure we can do the same thing next year…but even better.