Chives & Garlic Ch.
The Pickle Pile
2018 Week 45, Summer CSA Pick-up 23 of 26
We end the growing year as we began it, with some beautiful rains to manhandle the schedule. As I have noted in the past, the last thing we do on the farm each year is really the first thing we do for the next. Should the fields dry in time, garlic goes in the ground next week, starting our 2019 planting schedule. Two months later, everything else starts rolling in the greenhouse with the new onion seeds, the spring broccoli family crops, and the perennial herbs and flowers. But we all have our winter first — amen. And so it really does feel like bedtime on the farm, right now. Or story time …
You would not be surprised to hear that I talk to the fields around this time of year, thanking them, encouraging them, promising good treatment in exchange for good vegetables. And also talking of my dreams. Really, I am buttering them up … because after one goes through the checklist of soil remediation and science, one feels a little empty without a little heart-to-heart. And what the heart feels is thankfulness, but also a kind of powerlessness. My favorite sailor, Bernard Moitessier — on his way to winning the first round-the-world Golden Globe race, before he decided he would rather sail through the South Pacific than arrive at the finish — wrote, “People who do not know that a sailboat is a living creature will never understand anything about boats and the sea.”
How much more so — and more obviously so — for a farm, which has all the halyards and sails of a boat in its beaminess. I can’t imagine a sailor — especially one with a heart like his — feeling powerful in his boat. But thankful, yes. And alive, and blessed, and challenged. And so it is with these fields and our yearly circumnavigation.
Which brings us back to the garlic. The annual planting of garlic, as a bedtime ritual — in a mode of being that the frenzy of summer can never conjure — always feels like a benediction. Bulb by bulb.
See you on the farm,