July has ripened into August and the trinity of soil, sunshine and water is working its yearly alchemy, transforming itself into the variety of leaf, root and fruit that we recognize as food. It is humbling to contemplate the paradoxes that underlie our operation (really our entire enterprise as humans)-that the systems we are part of and depend on are so resilient, yet at the same time are fragile and susceptible to destruction or transformation in so many ways. Sudden disasters in the short term-catastrophic weather events most notably-can wreak havoc on the crops of a given season, can damage or destroy valuable infrastructure and equipment. But quietly underfoot, that underlying fundamental-the soil-remains resilient and ready to resume its annual magic. Events that unfold over longer periods, months or years, decades even, so slow sometimes that you can’t even tell that change is occurring, can expose the fragility of these seemingly robust systems. Witness the acres of prime farmland paved over and built up; witness the globalization of local pests and diseases that can render once important crops impractical or impossible to raise; witness the looming chaos that is climate change and all the cascading, unpredictable changes it will create.
In the meantime, we try to recognize what is good, what is of value in the world in the moment we inhabit (‘mindful’ is the new buzzword)-and in this moment, this high golden summer season of this particular year, unique, never to be repeated, there are many blessings to be counted, among them: glorious, vine-ripe tomatoes; tender, sweet corn; bounteous potatoes tumbling up out of the soil; fat, snappy peppers both sweet and hot; and countless other humble gifts of soil and sweat. Events, conditions, circumstances have conspired with our plans and efforts to create an remarkably productive season, a serene and beautiful moment in the midst of the troubled flow of events that swirl about the wider world.
We’re about halfway through that season now. Like always, there are some shortfalls, outright failures, wasted efforts. The celebrated blueberries were somewhat sparse (and are through); apples likewise look to be a short crop-but the number of beautiful crops this season seems exceptional. I may have just jinxed it with that previous sentence (and the following), but all present appearances seem to indicate a bountiful second half of the season. This is the summer to really make full use of that freezer so that later, shivering in winter’s gloom, you can briefly sneak back to summer’s sweet warmth, or at least its echo in your cozy kitchen in February.
We’ll hopefully see you at the farmstand or farmers’ markets as we head into the final month of summer. Please check our website for more (but not perfectly) up-to-date information about our selection.