August 24, 2015

Summer's End

From the Fields - Thaddeus

It’s evening after the heat of a summer afternoon, and I am walking down the dusty, gravel road that curves along the canal through the farm. The canal is no longer full of water like it has been since May, but it still has water and is scheduled to be shut off in a week. This doesn’t worry me. Our peak water use passed with the month of August, and our wells will be sufficient to get us through fall.

Beyond the canal, our first planting of heirloom tomatoes has been disassembled. The vines once supported by stakes and string that towered over six feet tall now lie on their sides in awkward lumps. Soon this field will be chopped, disked and planted to cover crop, and these tomato vines and their crop will be remembered only on my Excel sheet that tracks crop history by field: 2015 - C6 - Heirloom Tomatoes.

On my left, a freshly planted field of kale is neatly organized. Each bed has three lines of little plants. The field has three different types of kale, and the plants have not yet grown into each other, leaving individual plants and the grid patterns of the field. Looking over the field, the color difference of the red, green and lacinato kale atop the rich dark soil is as beautiful as any rainbow that has stretched across our farm.
Beyond this field, the hills rise with dry grass that is worn into a golden color from the summer sun. On the golden hills, dark oak trees stand with their crop of acorns that have started to fall. Watching over our farm, the oaks keep time of the seasons with the color of their leaves as they have done long before we were here.

The sun is entering its golden hour, making magic with the colors and textures of the farm. In the fallen tomatoes, I see a coyote who already sees me. We look at each other, both wondering what the other will do until we both keep going about our evening activities mindful the other is still there.
In the evening breeze, there is a particular smell that has blown in. It is the smell of something that has aged - musty and delicious. Soaking it in with deep breaths, I am happy that fall is close enough to smell. Check us out on Instagram @farmfreshtoyou and @farmerthaddeus).