“THIS is crazy,” said the farmer as he pulled a box of greens from his trunk. On this early spring morning, before the clock had struck half-past eight, he pulled in with some of the season’s first product, mixed greens that we would truck over the hill for sale in the Roaring Fork Valley that day.
“People say to me, ‘wow, summer must be really busy for you guys,'” said the farmer,as he climbed back behind the wheel. “But in the summer, there’s a rhythm. You know what each day is for. This time of year, running around like a madman getting things ready–Spring, now this is crazy.”
And it is. For those of us mad enough to yoke our working lives to the turbulent and sometimes vengeful tides of the Colorado seasons, this time of year is for doing, basically, what the plants outside are doing too. We wake up from endless winter, stretch our legs, gather sap and strength for the bonanza to come in the summer months ahead. We remember where everything is, where we left it to lie last fall as we hurried to be done, and to rest. We remember how a shovel works.
Here on the farm we have been prepping beds, running the rototiller through the hardpan clay and ginning up the dirt with a mix of manure and organic fertilizer that we hope will prove its worth come summer harvest. Like the surrounding landscape, we started slow, pulling a few greens from the hoop-house once a week. But before long the rest of what we’ve put in will start to show: more greens, of course, and peas. Beets, carrots, turnips, onions, raab chard and kale.
Until then we continue to run around like headless chickens, thinning and transplanting and prepping and hoping that, someday soon, a rhythm will set in. Then again, in a state where the weather changes every 10 minutes, will the rhythm ever come? I’m not holding my breath.