Monday, August 18, 2008

As I begin my final week at Broadturn Farm there is so much to reflect upon about this summer I hardly know where to begin. It seems just yesterday that I arrived, bright-eyed and ready to work, and already it is time to say goodbye to this year’s farm crew, to milking Dulce and drinking raw milk, and to collecting and scrambling fresh eggs. It is also time to say goodbye to the crops that I helped seed, cultivated, and harvest. But before I go any further let me introduce myself. I’m Clare, the only non-New Englander (I’m from the South), the only vegetarian in the group, and a returnee from last season. While things are pretty different up here and people say “wicked” and “are you from away?” I just loved Broadturn Farm and John, Stacy, Emma, and Flora so much that I had to come back for more. Thankfully they allowed me return! While last year I worked solely as a farm camp counselor this year I had the opportunity to work both as a camp counselor and a farm apprentice and learned an extraordinary amount about the frustrations and rewards of farming. This summer I also discovered numerous opportunities to find joy and peace in the field no matter the time of day, the weather, or the job at hand. Although I could list boatloads of activities I’ve loved these past three months I’ve listed only ten experiences that have brought me particular joy in the field and at farm camp this summer. Here they are… Enjoy!
1. Opening and closing the hoop house – maybe because the activity signals the rising and setting of the sun and the beginning and ending of our day.

2. Harvesting cucumbers, squash, an zucchini – trying to find them under their stems and leaves is like playing a game of hide n’ seek.

3. Suckering tomatoes and watching them grow into delicious ripe fruit. Aren’t you just dreaming of tomatoes and cheese sandwiches?

4. 9 AM on Monday mornings – whether I was on camp or in the field I loved watching the farm campers arrive and seeing the excitement on their faces.

5. Using the wheel-hoe in the corn – weed control work is SO rewarding and I am a mean wheel-hoer.

6. Family dinners on the farm – there always seems to be room for one more and there are never any squabbles over the quantity or quality of food.

7.Taking a dip at the Saco River and then having a lesson on pest control on hot Monday afternoons.

8. Eating fresh butter and homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam on toast for breakfast.

9. Collecting eggs and washing them – collecting eggs was voted as the favorite farm camp chore multiple weeks in a row.

10. Harvesting flowers as the sun rises. Sunflowers are my favorite but straw flowers are a close second!

Thank you all for a great season and for helping to make my second summer at Broadturn farm as enjoyable and fulfilling as my first!

Peace, Clare

The Harvest
Broccoli Raab

a last note about the weather.... We continue to struggle with the effects of a very wet summer. For example, we expected to harvest a large crop of broccoli this week and find black rotten tops on nearly all of the crop. Most of our greens have "spots" and the tomatoes will be a race to harvest before diseases catch up with them. The Broccoli Raab is a little early to be harvested-- it has not really sprouted yet, but leaving it in the field longer is a risk. We hope you all understand the challenges of this midsummer weather. ---John

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