While picking beans with Chris today, I suddenly realized we’d been coasting along in a rare and quiet bubble for a couple of weeks. Here’s why: it was a mad dash to get the garden tilled when we moved in, get seeds in, and then weed and weed and weed for weeks. Then the garden started to do its thing and we fell into a relaxing routine of harvesting armloads of beautiful flowers and fulfilling orders. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard work. But it wasn’t the back-breaking physical labor of installing a garden and trying really hard to have the upper hand on weeds. And, since we’re on the topic, it’s not really a “garden”, the word “field” is better. And I can call it that because I’m one of the schmucks in the field each night picking until the sun goes down. But it was fun scooping up flowers each night and arranging them. And then this week happened. We got that sinking feeling of the unknown and confusion that we had in the beginning this week as we noticed some of our flowers have reached their output capacity. Do we leave the crop in to see if it will bounce back? Do we rip it out and put something else in that we can sell and utilize? Do we have a beer and ignore the problem? (the last option sounds the best to me.)
We decided to rip half of the crop out and plant calendula. We’re still not sure if we’re doing the right thing, but we also ripped out spent sunflowers and just planted another 250 sunflowers that will be ready in September.
And then we swing to the other end of the pendulum and have certain flowers that are producing too much with no market and no time to arrange. But we have to harvest them so the plant will keep producing flowers. So we had to A LOT flowers with nowhere for them to go. It hurt throwing beautiful blooms into the compost.
We are also up to our ears in produce. We harvested 30 lbs of green beans this afternoon in the hot, baking sun. I never realized what a labor of love green beans are. It is a back breaking crop to harvest. You’re bent over, searching for the camouflaged beans hiding in the green leaves, with sweat dripping in your eyes.
So it seems we’re back to our old routine: exhausting physical labor, being in the field while a loving family member watches our son, and pretending like we know what we’re doing.
I’m not sure we’ll ever be 100% certain of our decisions, but that’s the point of all this. Plant what we can and see how mother nature responds to the rest.
The Farm Stand will be open all day Monday and Tuesday this week. We have an abundance of zucchini, two varieties of yellow squash, green beans, and sunflowers. Stop by to see us!