David finished the week's vacuum seeding. Ted led bed prep and transplanting out on the final frontier in the fourth field. So Delicious employees came to volunteer for the morning and pulled all our greenhouse garlic to cure. I harvested fennel and green onions with Kiya. She led zucchini and cucumber harvest after lunch. Volunteer Louisa cleaned green onions while her two sons spread manure with the crew. Two youth farmers got up in ladders to harvest buckets of cherries. We filled the coolers with produce for tomorrow's farm stand, watered the nursery, cleaned up around the wash tubs. And at the end of an otherwise normal day, Ted passed off the farm to me.
What kind of farmer takes a week off in mid June?!? It's a rare, outlandish delight in the farming world, that non-profit farming with good support staff allows for a few mid-season vacations. We'll be ping-ponging almost every Saturday back and forth so that one of us can be out living life, and every few weeks one of us will be off-farm for vacations. It's certainly more intense for the person on the farm, but worth it to be able to get a taste of summer. Ted's spring break week tends to feel pretty easy for me since there's hardly any irrigation to manage, no market harvest, very little field work, and no youth crew to keep busy. This time of year is *just a bit* different.
Most importantly, there's irrigation. The first time Ted went on vacation in 2016, I was fairly overwhelmed with managing everyone on the farm and keeping plants watered all week. We have such a diverse system with over twenty outlets and widely varying plant needs, so it took me a while to wrap my head around it. I made a detailed chart with all the outlets, kept meticulous track of what and when I watered, and was out checking the soil in each section way more than I needed to. Now, after two years of setting up, repairing, and managing irrigation off and on, I feel prepared. I might still make a chart, definitely need to re-calibrate my hands and eyes to assess soil moisture, and spend some time hoping I don't kill anything, but I'm confident I can keep it running smoothly.
Then there's everything else. Harvesting for markets and CSA and food bank, preparing new beds, flipping old ones, planting, weeding, tearing down and setting up infrastructure... Ted and I spent less than an hour at the end of the day walking the farm to go over it all. Him downloading a ton of information, me asking questions and scribbling semi-coherent notes. There's a few more details to pass off before I'm ready to tackle all the projects for the next week, but for the most part I have enough of a grip on the farm this year that my judgement and this single page of cat-scratch can keep us moving forward. It's such a relief, to finally have that grip. Here goes nothing!