Harvest Day

Harvest Day
Winter crops

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, Monday

Mondays are unique here at Breaking Away Farm.  First, our tiny local newspaper doesn't publish a Monday issue so our minds aren't cluttered by news and the myriad of local scuttlebutt.  Monday is my day to Take Stock.

I'm a natural worrier and it is important to me that I prepare for each weekly delivery in a timely fashion and that each delivery be as good as I can make it.  So, I walk the gardens.  I peer under pepper leaves to see if any are ready to pick, I attempt to count ripe eggplants, I try to gauge how many more beans will be harvested before Wednesday, I dig around in the fridges to see what has been harvested for this week and generally just fret all day about the whole thing.  Will has had to learn to leave me alone about this and accept that there is a method to my madness.  Taking Stock is a big job.

On a typical week we prepare around 180 to 200 family-sized portions of vegetables.  A portion might be a single watermelon or it might be 12 ounces of okra.  Over the seasons we've sort of arbitrarily arrived at amounts that just feel like an appropriate amount of each thing.  Of course, the Small Family shares get smaller portions of most things and this adds another element of complexity to this weird weekly dance we do in order to pull together our delivery.

The fretfulness continues into Tuesday when the actual work takes place.  Tuesdays are long and exhausting, we've failed to find a way to make them less so.  As we go about the work of endless bagging, weighing, counting and carrying those portions of vegetables, we long for whatever season it isn't.  As I weigh out 2 pound bags of squash, often 60 or 70 bags at a go, I long for the crisp days of Autumn, washing beautiful greens and stacking the lovely leaves into little mountains of tender goodness.  Of course, when I'm washing greens in the Fall, weighing squash seems so easy and preferable!  I guess that's just human nature for you.

When we finally tumble into bed late on Tuesday night, it is with the comfort of knowing that we've once again assembled a beautiful array of fresh produce and have it ready to present to our members on Wednesday.  I've prepared delivery slips for each member and distributed the week's haul as fairly as I can.  The fretting ends for another week. The garden recovers from our theft of its bounty and begins to ready the next week's offering.  We sleep.

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