From Farmer Reyna:
This time of year at the farm is the culmination of so many things. Long awaited summer season crops like tomatoes and peppers finally hit their stride, though their arrival was delayed by a cooler summer. Our fall plant sale came to fruition after many months of preparations, from seeding to all the extra plant care we took under wildlife and insect pressure. Plus, the farm’s own planting needs of cool season crops, like cabbage and broccoli, had us stretching in a whole nother direction so we could ensure food for the next season. This “peak production” is something we always expect. And it’s our second time under the pandemic, smoky conditions, and now, drought. But just because we’ve lived through this once before, it doesn’t mean we and the farming community feel the strains and demands any less.
The farmer always has one foot in the current season and one in the next. It can be hard to reflect and bask in the bounty of summer produce while seeing the literal smoke on the horizon, and wondering how to plan for the next day. But the continual growth at the farm, the everyday needs of tending, watering, weeding, and more, do offer a sense of consistency and even distraction. It’s a reminder that there are things here, right now, that need our care. And that there are people who want to be here alongside us to do so. (Shout out to all the volunteers that got us this far!)
The harvest continues to stretch into September, with melons peaking, peppers clamoring to reach redness, and soon, winter squash knocking at the door. The pumpkins will greet you at the farm’s entrance, instilling subconscious thoughts of dessert treats. Fifteen different varieties of apples will twinkle on, one after the other throughout the summer/fall season, just as the Bounty Farm planned.
It seems the deer have made quite a comeback this year, their foraging needs undoubtedly impacted by drought. We’ve had to stretch row covers over many crops while letting others like apples and strawberries succumb to those needs. Then there are other critters we welcome, like the bees currently gasping for water. Droplets from our irrigation system and dew on our plant starts make our farm their oasis of choice. (You can help the bees too by providing shallow dishes of water in your yard.)
Coming up on the horizon is our annual fall strawberry crown and garlic community order! Keep your eyes out for a call-out if you are interested in joining our community group-buy. Following this, we’ll need a good push of volunteers to help us get beds prepped and strawberries and garlic planted to set us up for our 2022 season. (I was still getting used to 2021!) Stay tuned for these volunteer opportunities as they are great ways to learn alongside us as we greet the fall season.