8th Week

We’ve started making beds for fall. The old beds, where we planted early season crops, are empty now, their contents consumed variously by humans, pigs, and compost piles. We watch for the next rain to plant buckwheat in the beds to hold the soil through the winter. The fall successions of beets, carrots, and lettuces are waiting to go into the fields. Then these beds too, will be cover cropped in preparation for the next year.

Cover cropping reminds me of the long view of time. The immediate – this hour, this week – opens up into years and years of work. Each year brings something different, and we look ahead to prepare ourselves for it. Adding to the soil, remaking beds for the next year makes the summer seem small, condensed in comparison. This compression sometimes feels overwhelming, that the things we have to do are stacking up together. But lately I’ve been trying to think of it not as compression, but as expansion. Each hour and day is a piece of the years of building and maintaining. They are not trivial pieces, either. They accumulate, altering day by day the life of the farm. For us, we think in terms of indefinite time. Prepping for next year also indirectly means prepping for the year after that, and the one after that. The days spent hard at work ultimately become important factors in soil fertility, or in weed control.

We try to take the long view because the immediate is overwhelming. The days are never long enough, the nights never long enough. Time seems to move monotonously as we wait for crops to grow and rapidly as we work to get the harvest in before the heat of the day. But the leaps and starts are anchored by the thought of the next season, of building the soils as we use them, investing in the long ideal of the farm.

John McPhee, one of my favorite authors, wrote in the book Annals of the Former World that if you compressed all of earth’s history into a human’s armspan, humans would appear just at the last sliver of a fingernail. Geologically, we are a microscopic moment. We work to exist in the tiny bit of the world, thinking of the years ahead when the soil may be richer for our efforts, and our labors add to the vast history we are entwined within.


This week:

  • Head lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Salad Mix
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Culinary Herbs
  • Flowers


Also at the farm…

Friday Pie Club Order Form: This week’s pies are peach and summer squash quiche.

Wehave Two Coves Farm chickens for sale, $4.50/lb.




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