The Dirt on the Farm: Midsummer’s Dirt

We are nearing mid summer and already into week 7 of the CSA season. The year just seems to be flying by. Our staff has settled into a rhythm and the members are starting to get a feel for their pick up sights. Fruit season is upon us and our first delivery of cherries will be delivered this week. Here in the office we are starting to get the hang of the new technology that is being used to manage all of the member accounts. We are hard at work adapting and creating changes in our systems so that we can continue to offer the abundance and support that our members have come to expect. But, just as we start to get used to things, the seasons begin to shift and we have to open ourselves to something new.

Traditionally, this is the time of year when agrarian cultures celebrated the abundance coming from the fields. The first grains were starting to be harvested and bread and beer was crafted. At the same time, it was the beginning of the shorter days as the sun’s power began to fade. All too soon winter would be upon the people, so diligent preparation would be key for surviving that cold dead season.

Grain was the primary harvest back then and the most sacred of the seeds. Here on the farm, we start thinking about canning and preserving fruits and veggies. We also start to see the storage crops, like squash and potatoes, showing signs of readiness. Nuts will soon start falling from the trees. In this preparation, people remember and honor the continuation of life and death unfolded through each season every year. The grains that don’t make it into a basket or loaf of bread, and the crops or weeds that go to seed, will drop potential new life into the Earth. Those sacred seeds hold the secret to life for generations to come, for they birth the next generation.

This time of year, we might think about what needs to be sacrificed to make room for new life. On the farm, we harvest the corn and the plant dies, but we have seeds that will carry on and make new life. Seeds that sustain us and give us life. This is one of nature’s great lessons that has spoken loudly to me over the last few years. Letting go of things is important in life. If we are to make room for something new, if we wish to transition into a new cycle, we must first let something go. Becoming aware of this and consciously making these choices has helped me to transition more smoothly into new stages of life, such as new jobs, new relationships, and new projects.

For me, observing the seasons brought real truth to the words “to everything there is a season”. Every year, as summer begins to wane, I am reminded of the constant change in life. I am grateful for the role that each season has, as it encourages me to let go of what is no longer needed. What will I sacrifice this year? What seeds might I be going to drop? What preparations do I still need to make for the short and long term? These are the questions that start rolling through my mind as we enter mid summer. Enjoy this season and the food that comes with it.