Summer Starts…NOW!

Imagine you come to work on a Monday morning to find your workstation has been moved to a room with no climate control. Your job description has been changed without any notification. The project you were working on on Friday has been cancelled, and there is an email in your inbox that says “New Project Tasks: Deadline, today at 5 pm” with 25 attachments.
That was essentially the situation we found ourselves in at the farm on Monday of this week, as “meteorological summer” began over the weekend and the crops on our farm responded immediately.
Mondays are never easy at Terra Firma, as the simple fact of taking a single day off results in us being a day behind, every week. Even in the winter, crops do not stop growing or ripening just because humans aren’t working. So most Mondays, we have two days worth of harvest to do. And when Sunday is warmer than Saturday, and Monday is warmer than Sunday, it is a recipe for a very busy day indeed.
This Monday, there was a mad rush to harvest the last of the cool-season crops while it was still cool: head lettuce, spinach, and a few strawberries. By 9 am it was too hot to pick any more leafy vegetables.
But it was only when we got to the summer crops that we realized that Mother Nature had played her annual joke on us. As the temperature quickly rose to 90 degrees, it became clear: there was far more peaches, tomatoes and summer squash than we had expected. The first apricots were ripe and ready to pick.
Calls, texts, emails and Slacks were sent back and forth, some in English and others in Spanish. The CSA box list was changed once, then again, and then a third time.
By the end of the day Monday, there was a general feeling of being outgunned by the heat and outnumbered by the sheer volume of produce. The humans on the farm are clearly not accustomed to the hot weather yet; after all, it was cool and rainy just over a week ago. But the plants have been ready and waiting: it’s “go time” for them.
There will be a little more “summer” in your boxes every week this month. We hope you are ready for it! We sure aren’t 🙂


Farmers Need Help Adapting to Climate Change

Last week the U.N. released a report that clearly stated that the world’s food supply is threatened by climate change. It received quite a bit of attention from the media, including this article in the New York Times. Any time … Continue reading

Confused Onions: The Sequel

Back in the spring I wrote a newsletter about our confused onions that went to seed instead of making edible bulbs for us to harvest. While we were initially disappointed, our attitude changed when we found out seed for that … Continue reading

Everyone’s Favorite Tractor

If you drive around a rural area, you’ll see some big, shiny new tractors out in the fields just about every day. But during the busiest times of year — planting and harvest seasons — you’ll see plenty of old … Continue reading