It's been a quick couple of weeks. June already! The madness of May, with all the harvesting and distribution, made it fly by in a snap. We've been mighty busy and it's really starting to weigh down on us- or a better way to say it: challenge us. We're surviving though and enjoying what we have here. As hard as it is, physical labor is tremendously satisfying. When your muscles ache, your feet throb, and your lungs heave, you know you're really doing something. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it but in truth, people can do a lot more than they think they can. Exhaustion is a side effect yes, but the sense of accomplishment is greater, or at least equal. It's a direct relationship. Now, I say this but I'll admit I do like those rainy days where we do some light cleaning in the barn or work of similar intensity. Can't refuse a bit of rest.
Loving on the Cherries
The past few weeks involved many things that signify the growing presence of summer. First of all: the fruit share. Because Polly was able to sell enough fruit shares through the CSA, she received 2 free shares- one for her and one for us. I can't say how much we were looking forward to that. When I, and probably most people, think of a farm, I think of vegetables, green leaves, and the need for cooking. I know first hand that's not necessarily true, fruit is a big part of farming too. It just takes longer and the anticipation just seems so great. I've always been a fruit person and always will be a fruit person (which probably follows the reigns of my sweet tooth). Sometimes it's hard to understand that a raw plant product could be so glorious straight off the stem but that's the case with the 5 pounds of cherries we received in an unassuming paper bag last week. While some are better than others, it's the experience that really matters- and how far you can spit the seed. Further along in the summer are apples and peaches. Things are looking up!
A blocked view of the arbor
Along the same theme of signs of summer: the arbor project for the blueberry bushes. Birds have been a problem for the past several years, feasting on the berries and probably getting stomach aches- stomach aches meant for us! I guess they're fruit lovers too. This year we're trying to change that issue by building an arbor. And, this involved more skills! Really tiring skills. If you've ever dug post holes you'll know what I mean. And if you've ever dug post holes, realized you needed more posts, then went into the forest, chainsawed a few locusts and carried them out one by one, then you'll really know what I mean. My arms were sore for 4 days. If anything, this entire experience has taught me how much people can do for themselves in a reasonable amount of time. They just can't expect to be awake much past 10pm each night. Anyway, the arbor looks good in its own quirky little way and we're thinking it will work.
Lily, the ancient one- 20 years old
In other news, my mother came to visit for five days. A strong woman, she worked along side us the entire time- shoveling, planting, weeding, row-covering, and conversing. Everyone who's been to college knows a visit from a parent means great things in terms of the contents of one's refrigerator. And, despite working just as hard as anyone, she washed our dishes and cooked on occasion too! It's hard to say whose vacation it actually was. A marvelous time indeed. The weather was cooperative as well, showing her a range of conditions from hot and humid, dry and cool, and a big, spectacular thunder storm. In fact, a bolt of lightning struck just a few hundred feet from our cabin with a blinding flash and a deafening crack. That's plenty of entertainment for me. No need for more of that sort of thing, though I do love me a good thunder storm.
In conclusion, exhaustion. Goodnight.
I apprenticed on a farm in southwest Virginia from April-October 2010. This blog contains all the anecdotes and observations from that adventure.
See more of my photos here