August and September are crazy busy on our farm. All the summer crops are ripening up and we are switching out the spring plantings for new fall crops, such as spinach and lettuce. My husband went to town planting potatoes this spring, and today he harvested them. We are awash in healthy mounds of potatoes, thinking through who we could give them away to. We will surely store a bushel for ourselves, alongside the drying garlic bulbs, but there are only two of us.
I think we’ll offer the surplus to members of our church for a donation to the general fund. I tend to be a little protective of the gifts our farm provides, but a surplus like this is just too much.
The zucchini is producing at an amazing clip and I have to be careful to harvest them when they reach 6-8 inches. The ones I miss quickly become baseball bats and there is only so much zucchini bread we can store away in the freezer. It really messes up our diets! Today, I found two big ones that escaped my notice and I just gave up and tossed them into the chicken run. I hope the girls find them tasty and leave me nothing but the rinds by the end of the day.
As I look back on my writing, it seems I am complaining about the work. Really, I love this time of the year and it gives me such satisfaction to have “put up” our own produce. The problem is that I love finishing a task, and the endless flow of vegetables filling the kitchen counters makes finishing an elusive goal. Yesterday I was freezing zucchini and making loaves of zucchini bread. Today I need to haul all the jars upstairs and begin canning tomatoes.
The fields are packed with beautiful wildflowers and give me pleasure as I walk back and forth between the house and the barn. The bees and butterflies are buzzing and fluttering all around me, and it looks like we have to schedule a honey extraction soon so that we can leave space for the bees to build up their winter supplies. My husband just finished tying up and weeding the new grape vines — before he tackled the potatoes — and the Concord grapes will ripen up next month to be turned into juice. It is a pandemonium of bounty and yes, I have mixed feelings about it — pride in our accomplishment, gratitude for what the farm gave us, and exhaustion with the never-ending tasks to deal with it all.