Time is one of those strange things.  Where does it go?  Why does it sometimes go fast and sometimes to slow?  How can we run out of time, have too much time or not enough time?  How does time fly?  As far as I know time is quite consistent, so could it be me?  As I reflect on the season it seems like it flew, but in August when the temperatures were over 100 degrees I thought the season may never end, that I may not even make it through the day.  People often ask, “How was your season?”  And I have to answer, “Full of extremes.”  During this season we experienced many extremes.  We had one of the coldest springs.  This impacted the growing conditions of some of the spring planted crops.  Most sadly, the peas.  And happily the salad mix and lettuce heads.  The broccoli was happy until the temperatures hit extreme highs, then it began to mature way too quickly.  I do recall one emergency Saturday harvest.  The extreme heat put a quick close to the cool loving crops and speeded up the heat loving crops-tomatoes, melons, peppers.  This was a fantastic year for those crops and we have the heat to thank.  And then…..the earliest frost this farm has ever had.  And that was it for tomatoes and peppers.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.  There were so many thousands of tomatoes and peppers that would have matured, had that cold night in mid-September not come.  But then this fall has been very warm and dry.  The fall crops have loved it and responded well.  The humans have also appreciated it.  We like to feel our fingers and toes while we work.  Tuesday of this week has been the only day this season that we had to wait until 10:30 to go harvest because we had to wait for the kale to thaw.  We have seen some of the most beautiful colors splashed on the hillsides and had a bumper pumpkin crop.  Our festivals were very well attended; the weather was perfect for all of them.  Many of the share boxes were so full I don’t think another leaf of lettuce could have fit.  The packing of the last share box is always bitter-sweet.  We are sad to see it all end (how did it go so fast?) and happy to be able to slow down a bit, reflect on what we learned, take time for friends and family and gear up for another season.  I have a feeling winter will go too fast.

The 2011 Vermont Valley full time crew in the brussels sprout patch. Left to right: Jesse Perkins, David Perkins, Chad Chriestenson, Chris Klaeser, Eric Perkins, Cari Stebbins (cook), Barb Perkins, Jonnah Perkins

Pumpkin Pick

Chris cleaning leeks

Onions curing in the greenhouse

Packing the share boxes

Jesse loading a truck on delivery day

Barb