Then you add in the component of fertility management. In organic farming, time is essential for building healthy fertile soil. At a minimum of one year in advance of planting, and better yet several years, we start working on soil fertility. Using a combination of cover crops and amendments, we slowly build up our soil, working towards optimal levels of nutrients, pH, tilth, organic matter, and more. It is impossible to do this without time.
Stacey Uhrig, one of our original members from 4 years back when we started this venture, commented last week on how she has watched our produce literally grow larger, shinier, and healthier looking each year. As we explained to her, that was simply time. Well, we may have gained some experience in between now and then (also thanks to time), but mostly it was just time working on our soil. Absorbing and responding to everything we had added to it. And as our soil aged, our produce responded.
Constantly trying to forecast several years out can definitely keep you on your toes. Especially when combined with the never-ending, ever-expanding list of present needs and demands. Keeping a balance of here and now while still planning and prioritizing the future is an every-day struggle for us.
For months, we have been watching our main-season summer crops grow and ripen and finally yesterday we were able to enjoy our first tomatoes and peppers of the season. But before we will even begin to harvest those crops for the CSA, we have to move on. Time to focus our energies on planting all of our fall crops, planning for those nights to get colder and those days to get shorter. Which in these current temperatures, seems nearly impossible to imagine. And then forget about those fall crops. What we really ought to be doing is preparing to seed our cover crops. Our last chance to add needed nutrients to soils we plan on using for next spring’s harvest.
Anyway, the point is, it is impossible to keep track of time and far too easy to get caught up in it. Before you know it today will be tomorrow. And so a couple of times every year, we have to remember to focus on enjoying the here and now. We can still plan and act for the future, but fall will be here before we know it. So heres to warm summer days full of juicy tomatoes, sweet melons, and summer breezes!