The Pickle Pile
2018 Week 42, Summer CSA Pick-up 20 of 26
What a transportation this new weather has been. It’s hard to believe that I am on the same farm as last week, with cool greens to harvest in the morning, and a pile of crops to gather before the first frost. The farm sometimes — and I wish I knew which-times — runs up to 7 degrees colder at night than the forecast, which means this Thursday (36F) or Sunday (32F) could bring the fall’s first frost.
I am in full harvest mode with the cold-sensitive crops — like sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha, fennel, lemongrass, and hot peppers — though most of those can take a light frost before they bow out to a hard one. If anyone is particularly interested in freezing ginger or turmeric, let me know, as the technical term for the quantity we have is “oodles.”
To harvest the sweet potatoes, I broadfork the bed, which is just what I do to decompact it prior to planting. The symmetry wasn’t lost on my body, which reminded me that I did the exact same thing, in the exact same place, four months ago. Realizing this, I heard myself mumble, “Numberless perils,” halfway conjuring the lines: “Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started …” Said Melville, in ‘Moby Dick.’
Cultivation. That’s the point of all this farming. We plant our seeds, we tend, we harvest, we watch the coming frosts wash the year away, we rest, and then, rounding the cape, we do it all again. Because it permits and inspiries — and sometimes even demands — our own cultivation. I thought, as the sunset and I brought in the sweet potatoes. Work, rest, and cultivation.
See you on the farm,