Maintenance Season

50 degree nights like we had this week are great for snoozing but they also slow plant growth. Tomatoes stay light pink, corn almost ready. Not yet but soon. This week felt like hanging right on the cusp of some serious summer harvests.

We're in the thick of the time of year for following plans. Most everything is growing in the ground. This is the time for maintenance. "Scary!" says a child part of me. "Push those old coffee cups farther under the car seat!" But maintenance is the art of not hiding the mess, of keeping our eyes on things, tending to what needs tending when it needs it. Daily, like Sunny's harvest lists, weekly, like Karen keeping the farm shop stocked, monthly, yearly.

Dan found time this rainy week for the every-five-year maintenance project of replacing the greenhouse skin, and to begin the once-every-twenty-year task of repairing and re-building parts of the frame and side walls. Right now it looks like a bare rib cage (and a little bit like someone exposed the coffee cups under my car seat), but that's the first step of maintenance. Taking off what's old, so you can look underneath, mend, refresh. Speaking of refresh, Ellen set off this week on a trip, starting our crew vacation rotation. Important farmer maintenance!!

Meanwhile, the fields revealed exploding insect pest populations in my weekly scouting. So, Rebecca set out and sprayed an organic pest control derived from chrysanthemum for the leafhoppers in the spuds, who seem like they are having a party this year. We're also scouting for late blight, dread of tomato growers and tomato eaters. The weather conditions this year are perfect - it blows in on storms just like these. But when we look at the fields, so far, no late blight. We see some weed piles, but when the weeders go through they clean right up, and underneath, what we really see, is so. much. food. Last year we lost 60% of our carrot crop because it wouldn't germinate in the drought - this year, thick stands of baby carrots are revealed by the weeders.

So - heartened by the bounty under the mess, we welcome maintenance season! Keep the growing things growing. Eat what's ready when it's ready. Repeat everything periodically. We hope you enjoy the harvest.