Yes! Deep summer!

I woke up super early on Saturday, excited.  Excited about feeling love, excited for a weekend to come, excited to get the farm stand up and running, excited to work with a small crew of motivated youth farmers.  I've learned again and again that the world gives me back what I bring to it, and today was no exception.  I brought excitement, and the day proved generous and full to meet me.  

Yes, we got the market set up in time, with beautiful mounds of vegetables, glistening deep red strawberries, buckets of flower bouquets.  Yes, we harvested everything we needed to harvest before break time, weeded an overgrown bed of leeks, tilled up a new area to be planted.  Yes, timing was right to get beds shaped, amended with manure and lime, and re-tilled flat for planting.  Yes, enough youth farmers knew how to work with drip tape that I could just explain the goal of finishing the onion field and they were off and running with it without much help.  Yes, the two volunteers that showed up could blend right in with the crew.  

 Morning market load, ten degrees prettier than last week

Morning market load, ten degrees prettier than last week

The farm is starting to manage itself.  Yes, yes, yes.

And then it was 2pm, and the stand was closing, and the beds were just starting to get planted with only two people, and the onion drip tape project was still not complete, and there were tomatoes nearly dropping off the vines that should get picked, and I started having visions of getting stuck for hours after closing, by myself, desperately trying to finish it all and start my weekend.

So I go to Edith and Jane, who are laying out corn plants half way down the first of four beds, and ask if they want to stay until their project is done.  "Yes, definitely!  I was just going to ask you about that!" says Edith.  Yes, yes, yes.  I thank them and head over to the onions.  Evan, Christopher, and Casey are still pulling lines taut and making sure they're long enough-- soon to turn the system on and repair leaks.  I ask them the same thing. 

Yes, yes, yes.  They all want to stay.  And the day turns fantastic again as I head up to help break down the market.  Madison and Gerome are almost done when I get there, ten minutes to spare, and we button things up by their shift's end at 2:30pm.  They both need to leave, but I'm still elated that we still have five crew members.

They finish their projects, and when it's time to call it and they ask whether there's anything else they can do, I pause.  Well, yes.  Yes, always.  So we push it to 3:30 and salvage the reddest tomatoes that will be overripe by next week's CSA, load them into the truck for the food bank, and finally decide that we've done enough for the week.  

As they're packing up and filling out time cards, they ask about leftover produce from the market.  "Of course!  Always!  Take some home with you!" I say.  They ask about the leftover flower bouquets, too, and the answer is the same.  Yes, yes, yes.

I make one more round of the farm for irrigation while they're gathering what they want.  I had noticed a couple yellow-ripe honeydew melons in the field earlier in the day, and snatch up the only four fall-off-the-vine fruits on my way back: the first melons of the season!  There are four youth farmers with flowers in their hair, laughing and chatting, about to leave as I walk up to the toolshed.  I present each of them with a melon, and the laughter continues.  Edith tries to smack hers open one-handed, giggling hysterically, until Evan takes the knife and uses both hands to cut one open.  We all let the warm juice drip down our chins, spit out the goopy seeds, revel in the taste of deep summer.  

Yes, yes, yes.

 The first melons, so sweet and juicy

The first melons, so sweet and juicy