Local, organic agriculture. Environmental education.

A Summer Spot

farm workerAs the vacation season comes to a close for many and the school year begins for teachers and students, there are still lots of sunny, summer days left for tomatoes to ripen, beans to grow, carrots to establish underground and projects to complete. The fruits and vegetables of summer will keep on producing and coming in to harvest. But this is of little solace to the kids and adults who need to go buy school supplies, read required books and write formulaic reports.
The farmer also has to write reports about crop successes and failures, about plans to sow cover crop and concentrate on the constant need to pull weeds. It is necessary to keep on working, even planting some Fall seeds, and plenty of compost ingredients to gather for the year-long process of making compost. Much to do in these last hazy, hot days of summer.
An Eagle Scout from Cohasset has gathered friends and helpers to construct a new, open three-bay compost bin at the Farm. Perhaps the Farm teachers and farmers can gather more ingredients for the new bins, as there are always plenty of weeds and tons of local, household veggie scraps to collect. Another Eagle Scout candidate has chosen Holly Hill to properly fence forty feet by thirty-two feet of the Farm Pantry Garden so as to keep away deer and maybe rabbits too. These projects will go a long way to keep the farmers, teachers and students growing and learning at the Farm.
The work to be done and the energy to complete all the work leads one to feel they might never leave the Farm. Like school that lets out in June, there is plenty to keep on learning. Why leave for summer vacation, when there is more opportunity to write, read and add all year long? Why not have school all year? Lots of students, and maybe farmers too, need breaks, but find the time hard to get away when there is so much to do. I suppose many teachers need breaks too.
And now, at this time of year, when it seems hard to go back into another routine, it can also be exciting share stories, finish good books and write about the things that bring us joy and sorrow too. The last chance for a swim in warm water, the last opportunity to lazily day dream on a hammock and the hope for one more ice cream cone should not be the cry and mantra for the end of August and early September. As school begins, one can still have an ice cream, just on the way back from school. A swim in the warm September water may still occur, perhaps on the weekend. And why not combine an early, back-to-school reading assignment with some more hammock sitting?
Think of the farmers and the crops that have not stopped working and keep on producing. Soon we will need to stop and pause the outdoor farm work and rest a bit before the seed catalogues roll into the mailboxes. But right now, it is glorious, end of summer harvest and good eats. This potentially difficult and hard time of transition will occur, as we dust the sand off our feet, while still dusting the dirt off of our farm shoes, only to get dirty again tomorrow.
Read on, write those reports and take stock in the ongoing hard work of farming, learning and growing. Happy Summer and see you at the Farm, perhaps under a shady tree by the ever turning compost.

© 2014, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm

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