Harvest Moon

We camped out at the farm on Friday night, with the moon fattening over the field. I love the way moonlight shifts the color spectrum; the red/orange strawflowers dim to a living brown and the dark green kales get all pastel like some outer space crop. With only two or three weeks of planting and seeding left, this is my favorite time of year to be a farmer. The sometimes stressful work of planning crop successions is almost over, and now we get to use our bodies more than our brains. Every couple of days, we haul crate after crate of tomatoes and eggplants from the field, and watch our few pumpkins slowly shift from green to orange. The carrots will only get sweeter in the ground as the weather cools, and soon we’ll have turnips too.

For the first time since our farm started, we are going into the winter with land security. The five-year lease in Seekonk means that all the work we are doing will cycle back to serve us again. Every time I spend hours pulling grass rhizome from a long bed, or shoveling chicken manure into the field, I am excited about the investment I am making in next year’s crops. I am so confident that our commitment to the land will result in vegetables that are even more delicious and beautiful.

I wasn’t raised Jewish, but ever since I became a farmer, I have identified with the timing of the Jewish New Year, in September. Come fall, I finally have a chance to reflect on the past season’s successes (coolbot!) and shortcomings (all those beans the deer ate!) And to make resolutions for the coming season. Of course this is coincident with the fall equinox, a celestial holiday that has been celebrated by humans for a long time.

This farmer howls gratefully at the harvest moon.