It’s true. I had all these grand expectations about how I was going to blog and blog and blog through the harvest season because there are so many things to write about. Here it is, post election and I’ve not written for 2 months. How did that happen?
Every year, the harvest season becomes a blur of chaos. Of one crisis after another. There’s one of the tractors breaking down, there’s the news that the processor who was making our applesauce let us know that they would no longer be making our applesauce. Really? That would have been nice to know in May, not September. There’s the day where we run out of boxes, then the day where we ran out of staples to make the boxes, then the day we ran out of tape to make the boxes. There’s the weeks of too much bruised fruit getting rejected on the receiving end.
There’s me getting West Nile virus, obliterating most of September. There’s Steve holding down the farm, home and kids while I sleep, sleep, then sleep some more. There’s our dog, still stealing our Burmese staff’s food. There’s the apple packing line breaking down in the middle of the day and the fruit gift packs sent to wrong addresses. Amidst all this there are school lunches to make, soccer practice to drive to, dishwashers to empty and laundry to wash.
There are happy customers, and unhappy customers. There’s happy staff, and unhappy staff. There’s blazing sun and dripping rain, though entirely not enough rain. There’s apples to pick and pick and pick…so many apples that we wonder if they will get picked before they freeze on the trees. We barely make it, the final apples coming off the trees after several nights of 19 degrees.
And now…yes..what now? Now we clean up and pick up. We drain irrigation lines, plant crop covers in the tomato hoop houses and we start to breathe again. We go to school conferences and play games with our kids at night. We go on vacation and learn to be a family again. We catch up on sleep and spend more than 20 minutes making dinner. We look around at everything this small family farm does and slowly exhale. We make plans of how to do it differently–better–next year. With less stress, we hope. We are grateful for the bounty of crop we had this year and hope that Mother Nature will be kind in her spring arrival.
Then, we go out to the cooler, fill up bags of plums, pears and apples, sit in front of the fire, and…eat.