The Whole is More Than the Sum of Its Parts



IMG_4603IMG_4641IMG_4642“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”  Robert Collier


Some of the early crops: lovely lettuces, greens, and radishes planted in late April and May are now ready to be picked, and will show up in your first CSA distribution this week.

It has been a somewhat slow start, due to a cooler than normal spring. A couple of nights we scrambled to cover crops to prevent frost damage using every square inch of tarp and cover we could get our hands on, including trash bags, paper cups and bedsheets, working by car headlight until nearly 11 p.m. (Bill recalls his father talking about past summers when there was a frost in every month except August. Please, no!) In spite of these challenges, we’ve kept right on planting, and by the end of this weekend, just about all of the crops will be in the ground. After that’s done, we don’t exactly stand back and watch them grow. Now, we turn our efforts to tending the gardens in a daily round of watering, weeding, mulching, foliar sprays of compost tea, organic pest control and succession plantings.

It’s taken real teamwork to accomplished all that has been done here so far, and the result is nothing short of a small miracle. Out of a 100’x75′ rectangle of raw, plowed field,  a second, larger new garden is now surrounded by electric fence, and filled with orderly beds of hearty plants that will provide us with delicious vegetables all summer. Tackling a new garden, especially one this size is daunting. The sheer physicality of what lies ahead could stop you in your tracks. But thanks to many hands and talents of family and friends who bring diverse skills and knowledge to our garden, at the end of every day incremental progress is made, (and we sleep very well.)

After long workdays framing a house out in Lincoln MA, Ross and Mike come home to more heavy lifting — building structures, hoeing up new garden beds and tending strawberries.  After work, Bill tinkers with the irrigation systems and has engineered some truly remarkable solutions that will make the task of watering the gardens much easier this summer. Maggie is here every day, dawn to dusk, planting, planting, planting, and is joined by Desire and Acacia who’ve given up days off to pitch in. Peter shows up on Fridays and weekend days bright and early, ready to do anything asked of him. Marcia comes by to weed, and helped us install fencing. And we must not overlook the contributions of Grammie, who sustains us with goodies from her kitchen, like home made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, rasberry squares and rhubarb pie! There’s a contagious energy on this farm that draws people in. We’ve had visits from friends who come to see our progress and cheer us on and even new friends, like Gertrude who arrived with offers to weed during the week on her way home after work. Truly, we are blessed by all of these amazing people!


1 Comment

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One response to “The Whole is More Than the Sum of Its Parts

  1. Green acres is the place to be..
    farm livin’ is the life for me..
    land stretchin’ out so far and wide..
    keep Manhattan, just give me that Rowley countryside…

    Nice job!

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