Starting Lily’s Farm: In the Weeds

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So many #flowers #chamomile #summertime #southold #northfork #farmlife : #popupfarmstand happening now with #herbs #flowers #greens #eggs and more til 6:30pm and tomorrow 9:30am to 2:30pm

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I finally got my irrigation set up, after a minor meltdown and some assistance from my father. I’ve only put it on a few times, just to check that it works and look for leaks. But I swear just that tiny extra bit of moisture gave the weeds just what they needed to take off. Or maybe it’s just that time of year. July is hard. Not only is it hot, which messes with my brain, but everything feels extremely urgent. The waist high weeds must be pulled before they flower and spread their seeds all over the field. Crops need to be harvested before they pass their peak. Customers must be found for said crops. The list goes on.

But I swear just that tiny extra bit of moisture gave the weeds just what they needed to take off.

In a heat befuddled moment this morning, I got out my manual weed-wacker (the only kind I like) to deal swiftly with the amaranth and horsetail growing tall at the edge of the field. Be careful of the irrigation hose, I thought to myself. The weed-wacker’s not that sharp, I thought next. And slice! I’d cut clean into the hose. Oops. I’ve been having too many minor meltdowns lately to even let this faze me, so I just continued weed-wacking more carefully and left the mangled hose as tomorrow’s project.

Weeding can be cathartic: the utter destruction, feeling a long stretchy root release the earth and come up in your hand. The feeling of cleaning up and throwing things away, getting rid of what is not useful to you. I still think about big purslane and chickweed salads and sauteed lambsquarter as I rip out beautiful specimens of all three and feed them to the chickens, but I know there’s more where that came from if I ever really feel like harvesting some. For the moment, I can barely keep up with picking my cultivated crops. If anyone out there is into pick-your-own calendula or chamomile, please get in touch.

If anyone out there is into pick-your-own calendula or chamomile, please get in touch.

I should not complain about picking flowers, but I will. I love the smell, taste, sight and healing properties of chamomile, but picking it is tedious work. Two people spent more than two hours today picking a pound and a half. If only it were worth its weight in gold. On good days, I like being out there with the bees, inhaling the sweet scent and hoping that just from smelling and handling the plant, it will help me stay calm, be strong and survive these hot, hectic days.

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