Well, my favorite month is here, and not just because it brings my birthday! September means crisper days and cooler nights, the return of jeans, sweaters, and even wool socks. September means apples, campfires, and the return of roasting weather! Pretty soon, I’ll be able to turn the oven on without dooming myself to a stifling house! On the farm front, we’ve just finished up seeding the last of the fall greens - direct-seeded spinach and arugula, plus the last round of transplanted lettuce. We’re starting to talk about the fall plan to transition the hoop house from tropical tomato heaven to a stash of slowly growing greens for the middle of the winter. We still have a few weeks worth of tomatoes in the hoop house, but we have to make sure the greens get a good start before the winter cold slows their growth altogether. We also harvested some carrots this week, which was more exciting than it should have been. Our spring carrot crop was engulfed in weeds, so we harvested for only a few weeks before we had to mow and till in the weeds. So right now we’re harvesting the first good crop of carrots this year, with two other seedings following behind. The middle seeding needs to be “saved” from weeds, but the last seeding is currently clean. Carrots are tricky, because they take cannot be transplanted and take quite a long time to germinate. That means that weeds have a head start, because they are usually fast to germinate, quick to grow, and set seeds before you even realize they’re there. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. It always strikes me as odd that some of the crops that are the hardest to grow under weed pressure, like carrots and onions, are usually some of the cheapest to buy conventionally in the supermarket. If you priced your carrots reflecting the amount of work it took to get them all the way to market, people would look at you like you had a carrot for a head. There are, of course, always ways to improve your systems, but that assumes you’ll have the time to devote to weeding right when the weeds demand it. These are the things I think about!
If anyone is wondering how my new adventures in babysitting are going, I’m not really going to dwell on that job too much on the blog - minors, privacy, etc. I’ll just say that things are settling down in the house, and I’m sure we’ll be falling into a rhythm as the school year and the fall progress. I’m constantly reminded of things I’d forgotten about being a teenager, and suddenly the last ten years seems like an eternity. I don’t think about my current self and my 17-year-old self as too dissimilar, but from this vantage point, the gulf seems very wide indeed. This year will be an adventure, one way or another, and in the meantime, you can picture me driving a motley crew of kids around in a minivan, lamenting their long showers, and buying ungodly amounts of bananas, peanut butter, and orange juice.
Thinking about: cycles, language barriers, timing
Eating: homemade tomato sauces all over everything, roots roots roots
Reading: Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You, Ron Macher’s Making Your Small Farm Profitable