Giving Thanks

With our ship firmly pointed towards the horizon, we sailed, as we have many times this year, with water all around, finding our spots, taking a few lumps, and making it through. The rain on Monday held off long enough for us to plant the garlic field, dropping clove after clove into cool soft dirt, and getting us closer and closer to next season with every move. When the rain finally poured, we retreated into the world of sweet potato sorting and clean up projects. By Wednesday the skies cleared and we slogged again where we could, sunk the tractor while digging carrots, forked the rest by hand, and sought refuge in the sandier fields where we could bring in the rest of the radishes and some turnips and red potatoes. On Thursday, with another dry day, we readied our fields (if they weren't too muddy) for the last cover crops to be sown. The rain held off again on Friday, allowing Jake put those fields to sleep, while the harvest crew got the last of the turnips and a few survivor rutabagas. Then the rain came again. Right on cue.

And just like that, this season is getting ready for the history books. We just have to harvest a few more (thousand) veggies in the field, remove a few more tomato stakes, cover some strawberries, clean out the cow barn, and we will be done. Surely the finish line is right ahead.

And after a season like this one, it's surely a relief that it's nearly over.  And also, I am feeling so much gratitude for all we have been able to scratch out of our wonderful farm, despite so many challenges along the way. Once we have a bit of a rest, we can get all of the records straight, and find out what really happened; what was the story of this season. But, for now, here's the first draft: A cool spring gave way to a beautiful early summer, and then it started raining. And never really stopped. While we had many crop losses due to excess moisture (brussels' sprouts, rutabagas, cauliflower, broccoli, late summer greens) we also had some of the most bountiful crops in our farms' history: cucumbers,  winter squash, sweet potatoes, and eggplant. The deer pressure was intense and the sun was scarce for the last three months. And the crew kept working hard through it all.

On a season like this, I feel gratitude for all that we have been able to grow. And also for all of the people who have worked so hard to bring forth what we could muster. Our apprentice crew (Ellen, Jake, Ben, and Alex) and our fall harvest crew (Pete, Ally, Rhianna, Lee, Mason, and Becca) have kept their spirits high despite many challenges (rain, deer, clouds) since August.

And on top of all of that, I am thankful for all of you. For the well-wishes you send through the mail. For your understanding you show in the Farm Shop, when the kale bunches are small, or there's no greens at all. For the hundreds and hundreds of renewals we have received on a year where the bounty was not always so easy to come by. That type of long-term commitment to the work that we are doing here is heartening and inspiring to us as we slog through it all. We love this work. And we feel incredibly lucky to be able to do work that we love. And we simply would not be able to do it, if you did not support us to do it. And for that we are most profoundly grateful.

So, in the end, I am sure that the details of this season will fade from memory. The muddy fields and lakes of leeks will become legendary, but not important. And after we take a good long sleep, and wake up to start the whole thing all over again, we will look forward to seeing you all there; Wondering again, where will this highway lead us? Traveling together is always preferable to me.

We hope you have enjoyed the harvest,

Your Farmer,
Dan
(for Karen, Abbe, Ellen, Alex, Ben, and Jake)