This week we eased into the season with the first of thirty-four weekly CSA Farm Share distributions and our first ever Home Delivery. At the farm we’ve been literally greasing the wheels of our tractors which seems to be a metaphor for us in the packing house as well shaking free from the cobwebs of produce hibernation. We’ve scrubbed and cleaned, decluttered and renovated then all of a sudden it is as if we never left. We’re back.
This week for the most part has been sunny and mild. The winds kicked up and sent pollin swarming conjuring coughs and sneezes, red eyes and chapped lips. Despite my allergies, it’s been wonderful to walk around surveying the progress of the farm, to the rustle of leaves and smell of fresh mowed grass. Yesterday I circled on foot the ten acres of beds in various states while hunting for thoughts and composing my report. Some plots are striped with raised beds and plastic mulch while others lush with rounded shiny green leaves, white flowers, and fruiting green strawberries. An occasional red one draws your eye. Blades of green leaves from the garlic stabs straight up. White row covers canopy beds of lettuce and kale like stretched out wagons of the old west. Some beds are smooth and tilled while others rough and plowed with clumps of grass. I stop and study the plots which have been directly seeded. Dainty parallel lines in groups of five, baby arugula and beets, lightly drawn with green and red long linear strokes accompanied by a rhythm of short evenly spaced vertical sprinkler heads and bordered by richly fat textured tire tracks of the tractors.
I’m remembering a composition by Van Gogh, The Sower. This past winter a friend of mine, an art professor, lectured on how an artist may use line as a way to communicate how an object feels rather than looks. Van Gogh was the master of this and farms were some of his favorite subjects. Straight versus curved, is the object hard or soft, light versus dark is it heavy or weightless, smooth or rough, fat or thin, etc.. Once I understood I found myself going around trying to decode nature through a pencil and a sketchbook. That’s what I’m thinking about and how far away that sketchbook is as I’m walking the farm late on a Thursday afternoon observing linear rows, round patches of clover, last year’s stubble of corn. But don’t worry that’s because so far things are smooth sailing and I’ve not yet had to kick into high gear.
This week at the farm we’ve planted the first of our tomatoes and peppers. We’ve begun harvesting kale, and lettuce while very soon we are looking forward to our own strawberries, garlic, mesclun mix, stir fry greens, radishes, and kohlrabi. We are looking forward to hosting our first Smores & Tours of the season hopefully next weekend, May 13, although the weather forecast as of now is not the best. We may hold off a week or two so we can time it with the peak of our strawberries and have a pick your own party. Stay tuned.