It's farm party week! Today is the first day of preparations for the upcoming Farm party on Thursday. This is an annual party in which we invite members of the community to come up and observe the farm, have dinner, dance to live music and celebrate the harvest season. We will have two local bands playing and Josh and Ethan will be barbecuing burgers and zucchini for nearly seven hundred people. Part of my duties today included harvesting potatoes and onions that will be used for potato salad. We collected 150 pounds of potatoes and 75 walla-walla and ailsa craig onions and took them to "Two Sisters Catering" downtown. I also helped harvest for Mobile Market again today, although the numbers seemed unusually small. We brought in our first tomato harvest today as well for CSA, which is exciting. I am actually willing to try a farm fresh tomato this summer after Josh told me that they taste like sunshine. It wouldn't be the first time I've found myself pleasantly surprised this summer. I've never been a huge fan of raw onions, but somehow found myself eating a sweet onion as if it were an ice cream cone.
The mornings are slowly growing cooler, and I can feel the height of summer reluctantly slipping into the past. I feel as though the mood of the farm has changed. As people begin to prepare for the start of school, I can sense the anxiety in the air. The group seems more on edge, and I am not sure if that is due in part to the upcoming party, or the end of summer. Probably a combination of both. The air around the farm is hazy against the clear blue sky. Fires in the bitterroot spill their remains into the atmosphere. Our cabbage patch is alight with hundreds of white butterflies. They look beautiful to the lay man, but to the farmer their appearance is much less welcome. The flittering white creatures bury their eggs in the soil, which become grubs that will eat our cabbage, our labor of love. Such is the fight that every farmer must face I suppose. In the way that we choose to work the land, the challenge is ever greater, but the reward is definitely worth the struggle in my humble opinion.