Late Summer Harvest

The summer is such a busy season! There is literally activity everywhere. The harvest of summer crops is still in full swing. Heirloom tomatoes are so tall, and reaching for the sky, it makes it a little more difficult to navigate when searching for the perfectly ripe tomato.
The crews are in good spirits over the win-win piece-rate harvest arraignment we have come to. This arrangement guards their hourly wage as well as incentivizes them to increase output. The result being, harvesters earn fifteen plus dollars per hour and our farm’s harvest cost-per-unit has decreased. Everyone is happy.

oak tree

Many of the melon fields are still in their prime, but the first melon fields we began harvesting have been cleaned up and tilled into the soil for the next crop. The last of the melons are about the size of softballs and are growing quickly – not as quickly as they were now that the nights are cooler – but they are still coming along nicely.

Next to the melons are some of the winter squash fields. Even though they are all a light green color, we can still tell their variety by their shape and size. The butternut brown, kabocha blue, delicata rainbow and sugar pie orange are colors that have not yet arrived. The previously brightly colored green leaves have deepened with the intense summer into a darker green. Here and there you’ll find some orange flowers, but for the most part, all signs point to the final stages of the winter squash. In a month or so the first fields we planted will be ready to harvest. Winter squash: the sign that fall is almost here.

The orchards are moving along nicely too. Each week we see more and more figs. All of our apricots and peaches have come and gone. Next to the green, leafy fig orchard are our satsuma mandarins that are sizing quite nicely. I was wandering around the farm and I noticed out of the corner of my eye a baseball sized mandarin orange. The harvest of these guys will be early October at best, but something tells me this season will show up earlier than it ever has before.

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