It doesn’t seem like so long ago that our fields were filled with snow and the brilliant greens of spring seemed improbable, if not impossible.
Thankfully, the seasons always change in New England, and with the warmer days – filled with planting, weeding and harvesting – the ice and snow are now the distant memories!
In the weeks that led up to Commencement, temperatures soared into the 70′s and 80′s, making for some excellent weather to cultivate the crops.
Volunteers of all ages have already pitched in this season to help make for what we believe will be our most productive season yet!
Sometimes they work in pairs…
…go it solo…
…or work as a boisterous and energetic team.
In addition to the human power, our tractor is also responsible for doing some of the heavy lifting. So far, we have used our Kubota L5030 and Kuhn rototiller to turn the fields and make strategic compost deliveries.
We continue to work with Langwater Farm to get help laying black plastic for our full season crops, such as the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes and the flowers.
At the start and the end to each day, Zuri and I have taken to walking the fields to note our crops’ progress, observe changes of the season and note any issues – such as leaks in the irrigation or insect pressure.
On these walks we make discoveries like our first flower in bloom…
… Bok Choi ready to be harvested …
…and where to harvest the Mesclun Mix on that particular day – as it is planted in a number of places throughout the fields.
All of time that we spend weeding carrots…
…and thinning beets…
…is time well spent, and results in a bountiful harvest that is already starting to appear on the tables of the clients served by our partners: My Brother’s Keeper, The Family Center at The Old Colony YMCA, The Table at Father Bill’s and MainSpring, and The Easton Food Pantry.
While many projects at the farm happen in the good company of volunteers and summer staff, I still find myself with an hour or two most days to work on projects in contemplative solitude. Sometimes I occupy my mind, puzzling over complex issues and projects: How can I improve the irrigation system? How can I manage the moths that are munching on some of the leaves on our apple trees?
Other times I opt to work my body and rest my mind and simply plant! I fall into the blessed rhythm of it all. I bend and bow, stretch and squat, and kneel and crouch – and look back every so often to take note of the beauty of the rows as they fill. It is during these moments when I become awestruck by the fortitude and beauty of the vegetables quietly growing around me. If I listen carefully imagine that I can hear exclaim in joy as they extend their roots into the soil and strecth their stems and leaves to drink in the sun.
Like the farmers that plant them, the seedlings extend their reach, bend to the elements, drink in the sun and rain, and grow.
Zuri and I will walk the fields and continue to report back on all of the activities in our fields that are already springing into Summer!