It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing “I can’t believe it is already September!” Now, I can’t believe it is already the end of September! It is amazing how fast the season seems to have gone by. And at the same time, when I think back on those 10+ hour days of digging beds we were putting in back in April, it seems like a lifetime ago.
It has been such a beautiful month. What cool, clear mornings and gorgeous golden afternoons. It seems like practically every day has been a perfect fall one – that sun-warmed, cool-edged spicy smell in the air, sharp sunrises and misty mornings, wonderful wet grey wind, blue rainy afternoons, and the first red and yellow and gold leaves starting to turn.
It’s been a full and quiet month on the farm. Everything that’s going in the ground (except garlic) is in – we’ve planted hundreds of feet of fall arugula, spinach, bok choy, radishes, mustard, broccoli rabe, and baby lettuce. We’re praying that the tiny bok choy and spinach will size up a bit by November, but this late in the season, we’ll take whatever we can get without too much complaint. The oats and vetch we planted back in the beginning of the month are looking great. Our fall beets are enormous, the broccoli is starting to make crowns, and we have cauliflower that is the size of my head (literally). The best thing about September was that we finished making beds. All told we made well over 100 of them, and we started way back in April. It’s quite an accomplishment!
There’s none of the summer urgency in our work now, nothing that needs to be done right this instant. Everything can wait. We spend our time harvesting, putting up food, making zine pages, clearing beds, laying burlap. We’re entering the season of destruction, which, I have to say, is one of my favorite thigns to do on the farm. Taking down tomato stakes and tearing down the rotten tomato plants, taking out bean trellises, tearing out dead squash and cuke plants, taking apart the deer fence…there’s something satisfying about the act of taking apart your hard work, giving it back to the earth, preparing for the season of rest.
Harvesting the last of the basil.
Our pantry is getting full, and I’m getting ready to settle into the late fall and winter. We’ve got 20 or so pints of different kinds of salsa, 40 quarts of whole tomatoes, 35 quarts of sauce, 12 half gallons of dried tomatoes, plum jam, pear butter, around 50 quarts of pickles (kosher dills, bread and butter zucchini, green tomato, beets, carrots), red pepper relish, apple-onion chutney, poached pears and peach butter, dried peaches…and then there’s the freezer, filling up with tomato soup, corn soup, peppers, beans, pesto, corn stock, spicy winter squash soup, blueberries…
As the season comes to its close, I’m feeling more grateful than ever for all the help and support we’ve had. From friends and family and farm family, from the amazing community of farmers we’re surrounded by, from fantastic volunteers…we could not have done it without you, and we’ve had a blast sharing the dirt, heat, bounty, fun, and hardships of the farm with you.