Last week we had a good “drink” of water from Heaven and that evening we were treated to an intensely rich pink sunset. This world is a beautiful place if we take the time to be still. There is so much to see all around us, so much intricacy, delicacy, and grace. We are blessed.
I have been working with nature for what seems a lifetime, but it wasn’t until I began my organic journey that I realized how small I am in relation to the micro and macro ecosystems I inhabit.
Take the rain we were blessed with last week. We haven’t had meaningful water for a few weeks, but we didn’t have a lot of high temperatures either. When the rain comes, the plants are built to receive it, maximize it, and use it. Plants are amazing collectors of water. A lettuce plant will funnel untold amounts of water into its base and hydrate it leaves and roots, then it will trap the moisture under its canopy and hang on to it to extend its benefit.
The Pea plants are incredible. Their waxy leaves and tendrils shed water almost immediately and almost all of it makes it way to the roots. And as most of you can attest, Klesick Farm peas are especially sweet!
Rain can come at a bad time, too. Thankfully this spring was just hot enough, dry enough, and wet enough to not have a negative impact on our early crops. Even our Strawberries have “weathered” the weather fairly well. For sure they would have appreciated a little more heat, but then the peas and lettuce would have been a little less happy.
Have you ever noticed that the birds are always noisiest in early morning? At 5 a.m. this farm is anything but quiet. I believe that is by design, and I believe that the birds’ chirping is music to the “ears” of the plants. It is almost as if when the birds sing, the plant opens its stomata and takes in the dew that has collected all evening. And when the birds go quiet for the day, the plant closes its stomata and traps in the nutrients and moisture to tide itself till the evening. This also coincides with the sunrise, which the plant also uses as a signal to open its stomata.
Knowing this, we spray a foliar kelp and micronutrient mix in the early mornings or late evenings and, when the plant opens up its stomata, we “bless” it with extra nutrition. When I refer to working with nature, this is one way that we do that.
The balancing act as a farmer can be dicey, especially on a mixed vegetable operation as ours. We have a good start with a few mishaps, but no more than usual, and what we have harvested has been beautiful on the outside and inside. And for me, as a farmer, the real joy comes from feeding your family and my family produce that is, yes beautiful, but most importantly produce that is brimming with flavor and nutrition.