Week 18: Huge Harvests in the Gardens

Summer is here and the harvests are showing it. The volume of produce being picked at Pepperfield as well as at the hospital garden is astounding.

Monday began with an interview at a local brewery. I had been contacted about working in a new kitchen at the brewery that hoped to produce “world class food to match the world class beer.” It seemed like a promising concept and I was fairly intrigued after the interview. When I got back to the farm we made a run to the hospital where I picked tomatoes, a huge crop of cucumbers and helped David harvest other vegetables such as broccoli and summer squash. We came back to the farm and added on to one of the compost piles and retired for an early wine time. The next day I weeded around the compost piles. It a low traffic area and some of the weeds had grown taller than me. This was arduous work and took a few hours. Once I finished that I gathered the refuse and piled it up to rot. I spent some time working on the blog and enjoyed an early dinner of eggplant parmesan made by Ellis.

Wednesday was spent on more weeding. It was much easier than the first round because I was touching up spots I had missed and hoeing out the smaller items that had surfaced. We decided to make another run to the hospital because we had some errands in town. Just two days after our first harvest, it looked like we hadn’t even been there. Cucumbers sprawled across the dirt, beans nearly pulled their vines to the ground and the summer squash looked like it hadn’t even been harvested. Once we completed the harvest, we finished up in town and headed back to the farm. David and I walked the trails checking on potential sources for firewood and assessing the damage of some of the previous storms. The day following, I went in to my job early to learn the opening procedures. I was a little early so I cleaned the fryers; when my manager came in he was ecstatic. I returned home around 11 and then helped David can peaches. I was scheduled for my actual shift that night, so I went back in. My work day consisted of light prep and we rocked out a decent night of service.

Friday brought more weeding. I started in the hoop house pulling all but the stray arugula that volunteered. Afterwards, I made a sourdough starter and then cut up so overripe squash for the goats. I never would have imagined prepping food for livestock. I went to town early to complete a few errands and then headed off for another shift of work. We had one of the slowest Friday nights I have ever experienced. Our final sales for the night was only $1300, this is about a quarter of the usual business. Saturday, I was scheduled to open the restaurant and I started around 9. I got the line set and then pulled turkey meat, made some seasoning mixes and filled back-ups. Much like Friday I experienced a morning that was dead. I served 18 people over six hours; I was beginning to think I might be bad luck. I got off around three and headed back to the farm. I took a quick nap and then went off with David and Ellis to the Cake Party. This is a yearly event hosted by some neighbors to celebrate a birthday. As the name implies there is lots of cake, all told 31 different kinds. (And I sampled almost all of them.) Sunday was relaxed. We started the day by finishing the last of the canned peaches. After that, I cleaned multiplier onions to be put away for seed for next year. We got an early afternoon shower, so I spent the rest of the day organizing notes from the week and tightening up the blog.

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