Time passes. Slowly at times, like when I'm bending to thin lettuce seedlings and my back is barking. Quickly at others, like when we're back and forth harvesting a dozen different crops in a morning. Back and forth between the extremes, every week, every day, every hour. I realized last week that we'd reached the half way point of the season. February, March, April, May, and June-- the growth period, expansion, push push push-- are now gradually falling into the roll-out harvest of July, August, September, October, and November. We've made it past the hump, into full summer abundance, and I continue to be baffled by how quickly things grow, change, and fade. Last week my Oregon Country Fair vacation was the longest period since January that I've been away from the farm-- just five days-- and it feels as if we're already suddenly in a different period.
Mid summer on a farm really means pre-autumn. We've been seeding dozens of flats of fall and winter crops over the past few weeks, filling the outdoor nursery with seedlings that need more protection from sun and heat than from cold and frost. Four varieties of broccoli, three of overwintering cauliflower, Champion collards, purple and white kohlrabi, escarole and radicchio, Chinese cabbage, around eight varieties of cabbage.... As we just barely start to harvest flowers and hotly anticipate the onset of corn and melons, I'm looking ahead to morning fog sparkling golden atop newly planted winter cabbages. A farmer's imagination. It's a beautiful enough thought on these hot, sweaty afternoons, but it's not hard to let it go as I smell fresh onions being peeled, taste one of the last juicy red plums, and pluck a full palmful of a red ripe tomato from the greenhouse. No need for imagination, I guess, when what's in front of me is infinitely captivating.