Our farm is operating at full speed. We are in the middle of the summer harvest. The tall tomato vines are still yielding precious little gems, but the plants are beginning to look old and tired.
The tips of their vines are bright green with new growth, but closer to the ground, shades of yellow and brown can be seen. The tomatoes have grown all the way up the top of the five-foot stakes that were placed in the ground to guide them toward the sun.
At the other end of the farm are second and third plantings that are just starting to be harvested. Beyond that is a fourth planting that we have not taken a tomato from yet. These plants are vibrant green with no sign of fading despite the heat.
Next to the first tomato field sits our melons, which were first planted on the east end, which is where the harvest is happening now. The melon plants have grown to cover the entire field, leaving no view of the brown dirt, only the green of melon plant with the occasional shiny melon.
The melon plants on the west end of the field, which were the last to be planted, are a more vibrant green, and the sun highlights the new vines that are stretching up toward the sky, holding their little yellow melon flowers out for the bees to pollinate – soon those flowers will be weighted down with a quickly growing little melons.
Beyond both of those fields is our creek, which is less of a creek and more of a series of puddles. In these puddles, moss is growing like crazy. Tracks of deer, raccoons, coyotes, birds, rabbits, squirrels and the occasional fresh water otter are easy to find.
Some of the holes are big enough and replenished quickly enough that we are able to irrigate from these natural springs, but the majority of our farm’s irrigation water is being pumped from a precious groundwater resource. In the absence of this groundwater, our farm would be dry and dead.
Farm evenings are amazing this time of year. The fields back up to the creek mark the line from which the golden hills rise in small mounds toward the sky. The sky has been filled with unique summer clouds that offer a texture much more rich that a clear sky.
In the final hour of the day, the smoke in the atmosphere from wild fires is coupled with the amber glow of our sun’s golden hour. Combined with the farm’s fields, hills and clouds, the farm atmosphere puts on a show that might compete with the World Cup.