Our great week started last Friday night when the heat wave broke. It rained and the cool breezes and low humidity changed everything. It is easy to face the prospect of weeding, planting and harvesting, when you are doing it outside in some of the best weather ever. Then on Sunday evening our 10 apprentices showed up for their week of work (and fun).
Monday we gave the garden a polish - weeding and fertilizing just about everything in the garden at the farmstead. In the afternoon, Donna worked with them at the Long Barn, getting the space ready for the harvest day. Laura and I protected the fruit trees in the orchard by installing anti-deer fencing around each young tree. The apprentices spent Monday evening connecting with each other and the farm - going for hikes, visiting with the animals, and playing on the A-field.
Tuesday we weeded and fertilized over at the big field. This was fragrant work; we spread some of last years' manure that was now (mostly) composted. The winter squash received this odorous love, and we were able to hoe it in too. In the afternoon, Donna had the crew make the outside of the Homestead beautiful. She weed-whipped, and the students weeded the landscaping and washed the windows and knocked down cobwebs. After work, we all went to Clear Lake for a little swim. What a nice feeling. In the evening we played Kubb. Ask me about it. According to Eva, it rhymes with "book."
Wednesday found us planting broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower for the fall harvest. Laura twined up the tomatoes until her hands glowed green with tomato oils. We seeded beans, carrots, and beets for the fall too. Donna had the students finish prepping the harvest shed (including mending all the broken hoses!) and also washing and vacuuming the vehicles. In the afternoon We weeded the sweet corn, oil seed pumpkins, and watermelons. It felt nice to have entire sections of the field free (mostly) of weeds. Wednesday evening we had movie night, and we were already getting nostalgic for the week that wasn't even over yet.
It has been great to have all of the energy of our Junior High apprentices here on the farm. Now as I write this, the harvest is complete and our last lunch is over. We are preparing to go in with the veggies. It will be quiet here tomorrow, but the great week will continue. There a few things left to plant, some tomatos to tie up, and that one row of pumpkins left to weed. Oh, and good food to eat and good friends to eat it with. Happy Summer!