June, In Which We Do Everything All At Once
This is it. When we really put the pedal to the metal. Rob's boss in New Jersey used to really lay it on thick at morning meetings in May and June for the farm crew. Running through impossible sounding lists of everything to be done that day, week, month, to psych the crew up for what are really some tremendously important weeks of the farm season. Everyone's eyes would get big. It sounded totally crazy, that we would get all of it done. But somehow, you just keep your "to-do" list close, put your head down, and make it happen.
If we were to recreate the feeling, it would go something like this: "Early in March and April, we started with just greenhouse work, nice and mellow. By the middle of spring, we add field preparation (plowing and harrowing), and then soon after, planting and direct seeding to get our first crops in the ground. Once we've got crops planted out in the field, we have to remember to fertilize and irrigate them, and then, like clockwork, here come the weeds so it's time to cultivate too! But you can't stop plowing fields, because you have to remember to keep planting too, so you have something to harvest and sell in October! But those weeds just keep coming, and we need to start another round of lettuce seedlings in the greenhouse, and don't forget to dust off the farmer's market tent, and then get the wash station set up, because it's almost time to harvest for the first market! And does it seem a little dry? Do we need to water the onions again? Did we fertilize the second planting of carrots? Have we finished seeding our fall cabbage? When are we going to trellis the tomatoes? Did you drink enough water? Remember to eat lunch?"
And that's June in a nutshell...every plate spinning in the air all at once, for as long as we can keep it going. Until mercifully...sometime in early July, we'll have prepped our last planting beds, the greenhouse will go quiet, we'll seed our last crops in the field sometime in August, around when the weeds start to slow down, and our fully-grown crops won't need much water....and slowly tasks will drop off the list...until all we have to do is finish bringing in the harvest.
But for now I think I just remembered I have to go weed something! Or irrigate? Or pick the cucumbers?
Sights from May and June: Staked and trellised tomatoes, trellised cucumbers, laying plastic, cover crop mowed and ready to be plowed for fall crops, planting lettuce, and checking on the early potatoes