I have to admit that more than a few times this summer, I've been close to tears, sitting in over an acre of garden, alone (because Jonny was busy doing something else), staring at the encroaching weeds, feeling as if I was going to be whisked away and lost forever in that sea of green. It's easy to entertain thoughts of self-doubt at moments like this; there's too much work for one, two, even four people, if you include our occasional guest helpers. We're going to fail, go bankrupt, our bodies will fall apart from over-work and exhaustion or we'll simply be eaten by deer flies. Yeah, I can be dramatic, I know. I have even fantasized about going back to the city where I can sit behind a desk and be bossed around. At least I wouldn't have to make any decisions. And be paid a decent salary.
But then I have a moment like I did this past Monday evening: The sun was setting in the west, colours of pink and purple streaking the sky to the north and south, the east casting a shadow on my snap peas. I could make out the white trellis illuminating my path back to the house but the garden was quickly disappearing into darkness. I turned around to take in the last panoramic assessment of my work before heading in for the night, and noticed the stunning beauty of the purple cabbages which were emitting almost a phosphorescent glow. I was moved to see that in the twilight, the garden produces a different kind of beauty than I had ever seen before. How could anyone complain about this lifestyle or want to give it all up? It's hard work but incredibly fulfilling. Besides, I'll never go hungry.
I just stepped out to take some pictures and again got lost in the beauty of the early morning garden, despite this dismal, cloudy beginning. My morning is creeping by and I'm still sitting here! Once the field dries up a bit, we will continue weeding the cucumbers and melons, and clean up empty beds where we will plant our second crop of carrots, beets, and beans. Our first crop is coming - beans will be in the box next week, I suspect, and carrots in the one following (I hope!)
Last night, Jonny and I delivered a few crates full of giant zucchinis, along with some kale, swiss chard, basil and broccoli, to the local food bank. They were very grateful since they can barely support the number of families in need on grocery store and local business donations alone. It's hard to believe that such an affluent-looking community can hide it's suffering residents so well. A big THANK YOU to our customers who donated their shares while they were away on holidays!
After our delivery, we cooked an amazing vegan meal. Into the pan went an eggplant, 1/4 of a giant zucchini, a patty pan, 2 garlic cloves, a green pepper, swiss chard, a beet, and a few beans and peas. The addition of some red paste and a can of coconut milk gave us a delicious curry, coloured bubble gum pink by the fresh purple beet. Jonny even made kale chips and they were gooooood! If only everyone could eat like we do.
Another big THANK YOU to our dear friends Karen and Rob for helping us find the cucumbers in a jungle of weeds. I haven't enjoyed weeding this much since last year when we were working for Christine, chatting about life, love and farming. I love you guys!
The jungle of Lamb's Quarters slowly receding to reveal cucumbers and melons. By the end of today, these weeds will be gone!
Before Karen and Rob arrived, the cleared area to the left looked just like the jungle on the right.
The sweet corn is finally at eye-level! This is tiny compared to the conventional corn being grown and sprayed with pesticides all around our area.
Beautiful and delicious eggplant.
Savoy cabbage will be in the next CSA box.
Finally some progress on the carrots!
Onions: we planted almost 3000!
being attacked by mating cucumber beetles!
Two varies of kale - Nero di Toscana and Red Russian, both delicious in chip form. Thanks for the inspiration, Anna!
A perfect little patty pan.
Here comes the sun!
And there go my clean feet!
A garlic scape exploding into flower.
Thanks for reading everyone. I appreciate the comments, love and support. Coming soon...Luxy Farm at The Metcalfe Farmers' Market.