We're in a free-fall. It's been a steady slide all spring, some bumps and dips. We even caught some air here and there along the way. As the fields continue to need preparing and planting, beds need weeding and tending, and irrigation becomes a full-time concern, we are now also harvesting every day of the week. All of which, in all its glory and beauty, means a complete free-fall into summer. If all goes right, we'll land on a bed of pillowy kale, shake off and try to remember what clouds look like, and just keep rolling.
For now, though, it's to the grindstone. Seventy-five bunches of kale to start my day, while Michael and a new volunteer harvest seventy-five heads of lettuce and Ted cuts whatever broccoli's ripe. Gather what we need for the Community Supported Agriculture members that are picking up their first boxes today, and slide immediately into harvest for Thursday's market.
The kale bed's been popping. I can pluck enough giant leaves for a bunch in a matter of seconds, slap them together like I learned from the (mostly) Oaxacan crew at Gathering Together Farm, squeeze the stems just enough to hear a light crunch, spin the bunch into a twist tie, chop the uneven ends off against my overalls, and slip it into a covered tote. No yellowing leaves, nothing too small or big, pass over the thicker old ones, super curvy stems, rips and holes. Kale bouquets. Perfectly haphazard. Two by two, tote by tote, the pre-counted ties gradually disappear from my pockets, and I bring them up front to dunk in a bathtub full of cold water. Shake out, re-pack, unload at the farm stand for Jen to place atop seventy-five curated collections of other veggies in this week's CSA box: seventy-five bunches of beets and salad turnips and shallots and bags of salad mix, heads of broccoli and pints of snap peas and strawberries. It's every week now until Thanksgiving, this sweet abundance flowing unchecked out of the fields. It's a lot of work, to catch it all. So for now, I'm closing my eyes and holding my breath, leaping out into it all, trusting I'll land in July with both eyes wide open.