Teamwork

The other night, I noticed the crickets chirping. It seems a little early for them to start. Then the bullfrogs got in on the conversation. Finally the coyotes and owls. People think it is quiet in the country, but it is not! This farm has such a rich ecosystem, the sounds of wildlife are constant.

May and especially June are so intense and full because there is a lot of planting to do, on top of maintaining what is already planted, and harvesting every week. When the last of the hot season crops are planted (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and ginger), it feels like we can breathe a sigh of relief and move on to (just) weekly greens planting, weeding, and regular harvesting. In April, May and June everyone is getting familiar with the tools, the space, and the routines. We are also getting to know each other. By July, we start talking about having vacation days.

This year, it is July, but the workload is still intense. Today, the Grillo in the photo above decided to stop working. Fortunately it is under warranty and we have other options to get everything done. We’ll all be very happy when the season smooths out a bit.

The other day we pruned the peach trees together. We all want to eat big, beautiful fruit, so everybody pitched in. We got a 4 hour job done in less than half an hour! The tall people took care of the high-up branches, and the short people took care of the ones lower down. We had to remove dead branches and thin the fruit to a minimum of 6 inches apart. We don’t produce peaches commercially, but someday we might. We are considering growing them in a greenhouse to avoid fungal diseases like peach leaf curl and to provide more ideal conditions for these tender fruit to grow.

Tuesday, after a long, hot harvest day, the crew decided to finish stacking the pile of firewood. They were really tired, but they pushed themselves and got it done!

Sean washing carrots in the area where he poured a new cement floor.
This may not look like much, but having a smooth surface for loading produce into vans is a big deal. Sean made a beautiful flat cement pad, and then he was horrified when everyone put their handprints in it.
James Dean move over. Here comes Eli with her radish bunch.
Bethany harvesting celery
We use several methods to control weeds, including cover crops, minimum till, compost mulch, plastic mulch, and flame weeding. Sarah is the weed buster in this photo.
Our neighbour and former crew member, Lori (on the far left), is harvesting once a week for her roadside market nearby.
Kara checking for beans while we’re harvesting basil.
Sarah starting the paperpot transplanter. Sean modified it to work better.
Eli direct-seeding and Sarah putting in seedlings with the paperpot transplanter
Pruning the peach trees
After a very hot harvest day, the farm team decided to finish stacking the firewood.

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