The Woolman Farm is in the lull of midsummer, after the annual crops have been planted but before most of them are ready for harvest. Besides trellising tomatoes, monitoring irrigation systems, and regular weeding, the newer parts of the garden are mostly waiting. Meanwhile, we find ourselves with time to catch up on other garden projects. The two days of rain earlier this week not only invigorated our parched land; it also gave us the opportunity to help Maggie, our Garden Manager, begin planning curricula for the fall and to start many of the seedlings for later season crops, like fennel, leeks and millet. On Tuesday interns researched the viability of laying hens, identified new tools to buy with money from our recent Whole Foods grant, and reorganized our seed storage system.
We also have a short window of time to care for our perennials and the sections of the garden associated with them. Last week, with help from Family Work Camp, significant progress was made on finishing the cob bench in our Edible Forest Garden. Speaking of the EFG (as we’ve affectionately dubbed it), the edible plants are out in force. Berries both familiar (strawberries and alpine strawberries) and strange (gooseberries, mulberries, and black raspberries) have popped out all over the garden; the grapes seem to have benefited from extreme pruning and even the Lappin cherries that we grafted in March have taken off. Now is a time of both bounty and expectation; it’s exciting to ponder how much progress our garden makes in a single year--and also comforting how firmly the cycles within each year assert themselves.