Hot off the presses. But seriously, it's really hot.
When you take a week off from writing a weekly farmblog, it's because there's lots going on.
Or, it's because there's little going on.
Or, behind door number three, the writer is loathe to write only of how hot she is and how she wishes it would stop raining 5 inches in 3 days and drowning her tomatoes.
Indeed, in this farmblog's case, it's the latter option. With the summer solstice here and gone, it truly—officially—is the time of year where I am in danger of discussing (lamenting, really) the heat. And I promise not to do that to you—after this initial paragraph, that is.
It seems antiethtical to the idea most of us have about farming and the world of overall-clad agriculturalists, but down here, summer means a slower pace.
We arrive at the farm early, walk the fields and get down to business weeding, pruning, building, harvesting, mowing and sucking up stinkbugs with a dustbuster. (That last one is a recent addition to our list of chores and the best by far.)
By one o' clock we're off to have lunch back at home, in the safe bosom of an air-conditioned house. It's back to work a couple hours later for more tasks until the soft haze of dusk.
In the cooler months, we're able to work straight through from morning until evening, with a short break for lunch in the shade. Longer hours are a boon for us then, as those more hospitable temperatures also allow us to grow more crops than we can now. I would love to grow lettuce in July like the seed catalogs say we can, but that just won't fly in our climate. As with last summer, we're finding ourselves with a relentless supply of okra instead.
After finding me jealously scrolling through the colorful photos of broccoli and lettuce of other northern farms' instagram accounts, Alex put down the decree that while I may continue to post photos of bumblebees and sunflowers, I'm banned from lingering on any social media that makes me feel bad about our sweaty Texan roots.
And the truth of it is, while we may have scant to offer during the peak summer months, we've got the advantage of mild winters that will allow us the enviable position of advertising all our delicious rainbow-colored bounty when other farms' are covered in knee-deep snow. Not that I would do such a thing. :)
I will respectably and quietly revel in our 12 month growing season, bragging to no one (but loudly bemoaning the mosquitoes) and whispering thanks for carrots in February.
I suppose it all comes back to balance, as life seems always wont to do. For even though this week the mosquitoes have finally reared their blood-sucking heads, some truly great things have come about as well.
Dear McFarmer finally finished the hole-digging, t-post hammering work of running out irrigation to the pear trees in the orchard. We've received the okay to expand our growing fields, and will soon put 3 more acres into cover crop to be used as vegetable fields next year. (!!!)
And, a super lovely article was written about our hardscrabble farm in the Galveston County Daily News. It made us look photogenic (despite the farm attire and sweaty brows) and imparted some great information about our business.
When you next find yourself drooling over photos of cauliflower and arugula-adorned farm picnics in Oregon, keep in mind you'll never have trouble sourcing okra for your award-winning gumbo around these parts. And send some good thoughts to those poor, poor Pacific Coasters and their okra-less gumbo.