Final Lap

It’s mid-September, and we’ve entered the season’s final lap. There's plenty of harvesting and post-harvest handling still ahead, but the planting is done and the weeding optional. Even in the midst of so much abundance and hustle, the end is undeniably near.

As the Tin House fills with food, we’re strategizing to avoid a repeat of last year, when a deep freeze just before Thanksgiving zapped entire plantings of cabbage, broccoli, and celeriac still in the field. Clearing the fields by mid-November may seem straight-forward, and harvesting is easy enough, but finding enough storage space in and around the Tin House is a juggling act that gets harder each year, as the harvests continue to grow. Plus, out of consideration for our backs, I’ve become manic about only setting crates down once. It used to be that someone who unloaded a truck before knowing a crate’s final destination was cheered for their zeal; now they’re liable to get barked at. This isn’t air traffic control, but it’s still serious business. One false move, and you’ve allowed the kohlrabi to block off the carrots. Imagine the riots that would follow.

It’s been a fun trip watching the season unfold through the eyes of our novice crew. Lisa, Michael, and Sean all arrived with a certain amount of gardening experience, but none have ever worked on a farm before. This necessitated more on-the-job training than I’m accustomed to, but the unexpected benefit was seeing the farm from a long forgotten, beginner’s perspective. The other day, as we were discussing the work still ahead, we recalled the intensity of the seasons within the season—something I’ve come to take fo