Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The heat is back!

Today we experienced the first 90 degree day of the season. This time last year we had already had 8 straight days of this oppressive heat, so I feel lucky this is just a short heat wave. From the plants, I hear mixed reviews: The Spring crops that were planted late this year because of heavy rains are now getting a bit stressed in this heat. Peas, turnips, broccoli, and cauliflower prefer much cooler weather and could possibly go to seed before producing the harvest. However, the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash are extremely happy after sufficient rain and these hot, sunny days. As farmers, we often think we have the best made plan but in fact we have little control over our farms. We must be flexible, adapt, and learn. This is why we plant a wide variety of crops and make many successions of plantings. And we reassure ourselves that there WILL be a harvest!

One days like today it is important to be smart and not push ourselves through this heat. I like to get an extra early start and then take the hottest part of the day off to rest, stay cool, and drink an ice cold salty lemonade. My other favorite way to stay cool is to make cucumber juice. It is delicious and removes heat from the body. Then, the cool evening welcomes me back to the farm refreshed. The pace on these days is hectic but feels calming, efficient and productive.

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