After what seemed like a whole month without rain, the rain finally came… and has kept coming. The ground that was cracked and desiccated for weeks suddenly became full of standing water and the garden and goat pen both flooded. Luckily when the rain stops for a little while, the water dissipates relatively quickly because of how dry the ground has been. The garden, raised beds, and every green thing took notice of the rain and exploded with growth. Our garden has now entered the rapid growth phase where plants seem to grow right before our eyes and baby veggies appear overnight.
Because of this rapid growth spurt in the garden, we spent the majority of last weekend doing the first major tomato pruning, which is quite a meticulous and time consuming event. However, once completed, the tomatoes look so much happier and healthier. And we are happy too. In fact, the day after the great prune of 2021, many of the tomato plants surprised us with the beginnings of their first fruits. It was probably a coincidence, but I like to think that it was the plants’ way of saying thanks for the TLC.
The eggplant, okra, and summer squash also got a good pruning – nothing in the garden is safe from us and our pruning scissors! Although we get sick of pruning relatively quickly, we’re always so pleased with the results: healthy looking plants that have all gotten a good once-over. If we hadn’t pruned, we would have never noticed the larvae on the underside of the eggplant leaves that would have decimated the plants. Said larvae are no longer with us (RIP). We’ve really gotten into pruning over the past few years after reading about the many benefits – less disease, earlier pest detection, larger and earlier fruit production – and we can honestly say that we’ve seen a positive change in the pruned plants compared to the plants in our earlier years of gardening. Spending such quality time with the plants is not only good for them, but it is therapeutic for us. It gives us the gift of noticing small moments of beauty that we would normally never notice, like watching a honey bee drink water from a dew drop on one of the pea leaves. These quiet little moments of beauty are the farm’s greatest and most humbling gifts.
I think that June has to be my favorite month on the farm. There’s just something truly ethereal about it. The temperature is perfectly warm, the garden and flowers are all coming into bloom, the pollinators are abundant, and the air smells sweet. Once the sun starts to set, the chickens return to their roosts, the fireflies dance around the perimeter of the woods, the deer and rabbits graze in the backyard, and the frogs sing the most beautiful chorus you’ve ever heard. No matter the time of day, there is always a little bit of magic to be found every time we step outside this time of year, and the accompanying feeling is hard to describe. I wish I could share that feeling with every single person on earth.