We have broken the 30C barrier, a temperature we hadn’t witnessed for a month. Summer is here.
Bees swarm and hay cures fast. Farmer’s nearly finished, unless slough waters recede enough for him to cut sloughs, but we think that unlikely.
The sky taps appear to be turned off for this season, so I move hoses to water garden plants. Apples ripen and raspberries appear to be waning, although I still see a few plants that oddly appear to be just beginning to fruit. It is, as has been said many times, a strange year.
This is the year I decided to be small, plant small patches of corn, staggered over weeks; no till and spade in the potatoes, take less to market, keep more at home and not sell anything we ran out of last year. My jams sell well, but I can’t seem to buy them anywhere.
I’m baking less, eating more raw food, cooking entirely without sugar and not buying much. Where does this lead? I get smaller. I shrink; fat falls away. At farmer's markets, patrons go elsewhere for baking and I rest more.
Our children will soon be back at school, so instead of hurried processing for market sales, I’m doing chores and working until noon, then taking the kids swimming, or picking away at a building project. Being the incredibly shrinking woman feels good.
There was a time I figured Farmers Market could grow into a business, a full-time job, and even have employees. But I’ve drawn some conclusions since:
There is never enough time in a day for me to work. There is a point of exhaustion after which I don’t like myself, let alone my family. Many people don’t currently value organic food enough to pay prices that I would be comfortable passing on to employees. And finally, I still haven’t found anyone willing to work helping to harvest in order to even share the surplus.
Small is the new big as I look through our pantry at just two more weeks of market. Afterward I’ll have two more days each week to harvest, make carrot pudding for Christmas or farmer’s baby dill pickles (which are still blooming), and turn those gallons of raspberries and strawberries (still in the freezer from the days I picked them) into jam with local honey.
The prospect of being small is very exciting.