Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The fruits of labor

It's hard to believe that its nearing the end of June. I've been on the farm nearly 3 months, or half of my tenure. It feels like no time has passed, and yet it also feels like so much has happened and I've taken in so much.

I'd like to do a better job documenting everything I've been learning in a more thorough way... I haven't been keeping a daily journal, but a look around the farm makes it very clear just how much has happened since I've arrived.

That's one thing really wonderful thing about gardening -- you can really see the fruits of your labor. Seeding flats, digging, composting, watering, weeding, thinning: the tasks yield results that you can see and feel and taste; to me, that's exciting and fulfilling.

On my recent road trip to Portland, I listened to Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. At one point, Gladwell discusses the three criteria for meaningful work: “autonomy, complexity [i.e., it occupies your mind], and a connection between effort and reward.” It seems to me that small-scale farming has all three in abundance, especially once you have your own piece of land.

Sweet basil starts transplanted for sale at the farmers' market

Thai basil growing in deep flats in the greenhouse

Carrots with fallen tops disturbed by a late thinning. This 100 sq ft bed will yield at least 1600 big fat carrots. Remember when we planted these?

Red Ace beets have been part of the harvest the past 2 weeks -- soon to come: Chioggas!

Lettuce successions...

We transplant 2 new 100 sq ft beds each week to ensure enough lettuce through the season

Tomatoes are just starting to ripen. We're crossing our fingers for some early red ones for the Fourth of July.

Broccoli didn't do well this year, perhaps because of the 5 days of extreme heat in the beginning of June

But the cabbages are looking beautiful -- ready to go in a few weeks

Stuttgarter onions, planted in May, starting to flower

Winter leeks, just in the ground

In the outer garden, summer squash bloom prolifically. Baby zucchini get longer day-by-day.

We've been harvesting new potatoes for the past two weeks. The purple flowers are from fingerling potatoes which should be ready to harvest pretty soon.

Peas are in their heyday...

We expect maybe two more weeks of heavy harvest before the vines are spent.

Beans are still small, but coming along.

Summer heat sends spinach bolting. The last harvest was last week. Now the leaves are all too too bitter.

Winter crops push their way up in the warm flathouse. There's no rest for the year-round farmer...


  1. aw, look at all those beautiful plants. i'm so proud of you jess :)

  2. Aw thanks dear! It's so cool to see plants I planted or seeded or watered or fertilized come to be food. I can't wait for you guys to get here to see it all too...

  3. Wait, what? A 10' x 10' bed is going to yield ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED CARROTS?! That's insane!

  4. Well it's actually 5x20, but yes... and that's not counting the "baby carrots" that we just thinned and are selling at a premium. We thin carrots to 2'' apart in rows about 4'' apart. When you account for some error, that's somewhere between 1600-2000 big sized carrots. Not bad at all.

  5. love it! looks delicious... you go girl!

  6. mmmm... it IS delicious. I love love all the fresh produce we get.

  7. "sangham sranam gacchami"...for you!