Farm Life Vegetables and Berries

Death, taxes and…weeding

They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I would add a third: weeding. In organic farming, there is no escaping it. The formula is almost mathematical: rain plus warm weather, made worse by the technical unfeasibility of wheeling mechanical (i.e. tractor-pulled) weeding equipment into a soggy field – and there you have it: weeds here, there and everywhere. The situation worsens with every passing day, bringing the anxiety level of the ‘master weeder’ (yours truly) to a fever pitch. Finally, enough is enough, and an entire field team has no choice but to get down on all fours and wrestle with the hairy galinsoga, shepherd’s purse, crabgrass and false chamomile. Heavily armed, on padded knees, the team of five moves forward: two in front, three bringing up the rear, earth warriors all, their progress slow but unrelenting as they show the weeds no mercy. We were at it all weekend, amidst scattered showers and a thunderstorm, with bright sunny breaks punctuating the battle. Early summer weeding usually begins in the carrot patch (the most tedious weeding ever), followed by row upon row of celery root, beans, fennel and lettuce. While the job is far from finished, at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately, the sunny breaks were just enough for the broccoli florets to form and for the fennel to swell. We’ll also be harvesting our first beets of the season, delicate and delectable, from leaf to root. The balance of your basket contents will be not unlike those of last week: lettuce and other leafy greens, strawberries, garlic scapes and kohlrabi (the latter, despite having been sown in finite quantities, seemingly multiplying asymptotically towards infinity in the field). That said, we look forward to seeing you all again…