Well, we’re not building an ark yet, but we’re looking at plans… Seriously though, we are gardening IN the rain. But it’s nothing a slicker and a pair of “Wellies” won’t take care of. Today was harvest day for our CSA customer shares. When we got to the garden and started picking, it was just a slight drizzle. “This isn’t bad,” I thought. We began field washing the lettuces and greens on a makeshift screen and tub and table Michael constructed. Charger, our new farm dog ran around with a stick, sniffing out woodchucks and bounding through the wet grass thoroughly soaked, joyously begging to be chased. He doesn’t mind being wet.
By the time we finished washing, it was pouring straight down, but we were already wet to the skin, so we kept on going until it was done. Finally, we moved the whole operation into the barn and packed up the bags for our customers. It was actually quite a lot of fun. We joked and laughed and felt invigorated. If you want to be a farmer, you can’t mind the weather.
In farming, it’s always too something: too hot, too cool, too dry, too wet. We worry about it being too cool for the tomatoes. Then its too hot for the lettuce which wilts, then bolts. The tomatoes get invaded with hornworms. The sun comes out. It goes back in. The heat comes. It thunders, then hails. That’s farming. You make the best of the conditions and keep on plugging.
Now, dressed in a clean set of dry clothes, a cup of hot tea and a good lunch inside me, I look out my window, and it’s raining harder than ever. It’s not supposed to clear until after Wednesday. We’ve had at least 3 inches of rain since yesterday, and it’s only Monday. Yesterday was the first day of summer, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.
It rained on Friday too, when we worked in the garage constructing two new honey supers for the beehive. They had to be assembled and painted, and on Saturday, the only good day of the weekend, we put the first one on. Just in time, too. We soon learned that our bee school friends Maggie and Phil’s bees had swarmed the next day. All the wet weather and rapidly growing colonies resulted in a number of swarms at local hives. The bees are “antsy,” because of the weather, according to Vin Gaglione of Crystal Bee Supply, one of our mentors.
The good news is the peas are blossoming and growing so vigorously, they’ve knocked down the trellis and we have to put up a new one. The brocolli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, tomatillos and cabbages have doubled in size since we planted them two weeks ago. I’ve got one ripe tomato on the vine and a bunch of green ones coming. There are blossoms on the tomatillos and hundreds of tiny bean plants are coming up. Everything is green as green can be. All is well in the garden.