Sliding into Fall

Well, I was pretty happy with the rain we got earlier in the week. It should have given crops the last push they need to fill out for the season. Even if we don’t get another solid rain and the temperatures are normal, plants are well assured of producing a crop. Before the rain plants were looking a bit stressed and I was running all over the place trying to get the last short-term crops of the year to germinate like fall salad mix.

This is an interesting time of year because you’re really in transition from summer to fall. Just the other day, somebody at the market was asking if things were winding down for the season and I looked at him like he was out of his mind “There’s still 1400 tomato plants with tons of green tomatoes…don’t you dare mention winding down!” For him, it was a fairly cool morning and the leaves had started to rustle a bit with autumn in the air; for me, I still in the trenches battling weeds and harvesting like mad. It shows how the perspectives of two people can really diverge when talking about the same thing. Still, even I feel things slow down a bit. July truly is the nightmare month, and it is about this time in August when I “let it ride” for the rest of the season. What I mean isn’t that I stop working, but I let go of the idea of tending the garden with the same intensity necessary earlier to keep up on the weeds and bugs and such. Just the shortened days alone cause growth to slow down. A weed which germinates this week probably won’t even go to seed before the frost, so why worry. And this is really helpful to us, because it may be a surprise to know that the real challenge about farming isn’t the physical work, but the psychological stress. A season really is a wild ride that you just have to keep on all the way to October. It’s filled with too many tasks to list and too many risks to think about and the stress of that can really grate on a person as the season wears on. That’s why I too celebrate hitting this time of year. Although there are many more things to do, we do start to slow down with the days.

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