Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh! That's what I've been doing.

Planting can be easy, it's all the other stuff (like getting the plants to survive, for instance) that can be difficult. At my farm, we spend a lot of time weeding, hoeing, weeding, and did I mention weeding? Because we want to tread lightly, both in terms of soil compaction and in terms of air pollution, we try not to rely too much on our tractor, which means we do a lot of hand-work. On a 5-acre farm, that can be pretty demanding. With all the weeding and the physical labor, it's easy to forget what you're actually doing, and by that I mean growing food. Good food. There's a magic moment that happens when you harvest your first spring vegetables, after months of work, and you suddenly realize, "Oh! So THIS is what I've been doing!" And it tastes and feels delicious. There is really nothing like it. Knowing that you can feed yourself and feed others through the work of your body feels very sweet.

This week we harvested our first zucchini- bright yellow and deep green- and they were baby-sized and perfect, some still holding onto their bright orange flowers from which they had emerged. I can remember that when we seeded them in the greenhouse, weeks ago, summer seemed so distant, like a vivid dream that gets blurry the second you open your eyes, but you know it happened. And now it's officially summer and those seeds are two-foot tall, lush, green plants with fruit hanging off of them. Waiting to be picked.

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