We've hit the stride of summer where the okra forests are nearly 10 feet tall.
It seems there are more spiders emerging and spinning than could be biologically possible. Luckily, there's still just as many stinkbugs and grasshoppers keeping the spider hordes busy.
Weedeating and mowing still feel like they deserve their own line item of daily duties, right next to teethbrushing. Maybe above.
We've been doubling our field production over the past week, transplanting and direct-seeding our newest summer crops while still tending to the older ones. We're attempting some summer lettuce, experimenting with heat-tolerant varieties with the trial-by-fire approach.
If they can survive August, they'll survive anything.
Some crop production will be reinvigorated by these plantings. Hello new tomatoes, new eggplants. Others will (hopefully) get the good start they never had. The heavy rains we had for our first summer plantings back in April meant some beds of plants were cripples from the get-go. Hello tomatillos, cucumbers.
It's not only our acreage and bugs that are growing.
As those of you who follow our newsletter will know, I (Casey) took on the job of market manager at our beloved Galveston's Own Farmers Market. This assumption of more responsibility came after many talks between McFarmer and I and between me and the rest of our market board.
It came at a time when we'd decided I would cut back on fieldwork 15 hours or so a week. There's a few concerns that led us to this conclusion, most obviously our planned expansion for next year. I realize that probably sounds counterintuitive, yet as we grow in acreage and profit, there's even more officework to tend.
If you never pictured your farmer juggling an iphone and stack of spreadsheets, I'm here to tell you that they're as integral as the hoe and hammer.
Think 'American Gothic 2.0.'
As it so happens, I was part of the search team on GOFM's board hunting for a new manager. In the interim I took on some of the managerial duties and lo—I loved them.
Turns out talking about farming and food, organizing, maintaining relationships and writing emails are skills I've already been stuffing under my farmer hat.
It's always easy to work for a boss you love, and in this case my boss, employees and co-workers are the farmers, makers and friends I look forward to seeing every Sunday.
This shift occurs at a moment when our market is growing. Nearly every week there's' a new vendor, and we're becoming more and more integral to a community of people. It feels good, this entrenching of fellowship that is one and the same with the sharing of food and knowledge. I'm happy to be a part of it, proud to claim this market as integral to my livelihood.