Tuesday, August 7, 2012

shift and change

Since coming home from Maine and returning to my mornings on the farm, I've found myself taking less photographs. I think this is because I'm more involved in the work we're doing. Now I have my bearings. 

So I have no images to offer you today, only words. 

We got a good bit done. We harvested the last of the summer beets and carrots. Devin will now be able to mow down those beds and possibly prepare them for fall and winter crops. Then we cultivated the fall brassicas planted a little over a month ago. It's really not strenuous work - gently cutting away weeds with well sharpened gooseneck hoes - but it makes a difference. Far better to do it now, before everything triples in size. Once that field was done we moved on to several others, put shade cloth over the fall chinese cabbages, picked cucumbers, surveyed the frustratingly unproductive eggplants, then washed the beets and carrots. After a brief discussion over how to organize the explosive yield of heirloom tomatoes, Devin and I sorted through them, making boxes of large, medium, and little ones. (I'm rather proud of the fact that I'm learning to identify varieties of tomatoes: the cherokee purple and pineapple are probably my favorite two.) 

When I come home from the farm (around 11:00 or 12:00) I am, without exception, filthy dirty. I shed my red wellies at the door, and my socks too. It takes days of washing to clean all the soil out from under my fingernails and I currently have poison ivy on all of my limbs. 

But Devin asked me today what I thought of my internship so far. I have loved it - all of it, every part. Working on the farm has been like being exposed to a new culture. Which is fitting, as I am an anthropology major. It has been eye opening. It has stretched my body: all the weeding, cultivating, carrying large crates of heavy vegetables, all the bending and lifting. It has stretched my mind: Devin is constantly teaching me. Like today while we were putting the shade cloth over the chinese cabbages, he explained to me why he does this, how it effects the overall crop growth, how much the cloth cost per foot, how that differs from the price of row cover, etc. When we weed he'll tell me what the weeds are that we're pulling out: purslane, lambsquarters, nightshade. 

I am not the same person for having spent my summer in this way. 

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