Depending on how we look at it, it has been either 20 or 24 weeks since we started going to market. Twenty occupying our regular Saturday spot with two spaces but with the market going year round now Betsy started going four weeks earlier with the first few anemones and ranunculus. Either way it’s a long time without a break. Twenty weeks for the staff as well, hot, cold, wet, dry, steamy, arid, seeding, planting, weeding, cultivating, harvesting. Twenty weeks of dealing with each other and us, time for a pause. As most of you all know we take a week off, every summer, in early August timed to hit just as the early tomatoes wane and before the peppers really kick in. Now I always refer to it as the “break” and not a vacation because Betsy and I don’t really get to check out. We give the staff the week off with pay and they usually leave town. That leaves us here to water, and irrigate, keep and eye on the turkeys, pick a little bit of stuff that has to be harvested, etc. The break is in not going to markets and doing regular deliveries. We usually do a few hours of chores in the cool of the morning and then find some kind of diversion in the afternoons, eat a lot, take naps, read and other general sloth. To that end there will be no newsletter next week and we will not be at market Wednesday 8/6 and Saturday 8/9.
This break marks the transition into fall and gives us the bit of rest needed to head into this most important time of year for the farm. The ten weeks that follow the break are not only the end of our harvest season with peppers, tomatoes and the last of the summer flowers but it is the start of the next year. We are busy dismantling all of the infrastructure we put in place all season to grow and support the crops; irrigation, trellises and more. At the same time we are busy seeding and transplanting flowers for next spring, improving the soil with mineral amendments and seeding cover crops. By mid October it will all be put to bed for the winter save a few hundred feet of row for the vegetables for Thanksgiving and the turkeys wandering around in their pasture. In many ways the next growing season is decided and set in place during this period, we take it very seriously and when it’s done we then can take a “vacation” and rest assured that next year will be another good one!