Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweat, garlic, and pigs

Mid-July means harvest harvest harvest, sweat sweat sweat!
 As more of the fruits of our labor ripen, we bend our backs to bring them in from the field.  

Bee stings, horse flies, mosquitoes, gnats, all sorts of insects bother us while we harvest.  We concentrate on performing the task at hand, as the sun beams its brutal rays down on us.

Sweat soaks our shirts, and lately I've been enjoying a peculiar "waterfall" experience happening on my face, starting at around 8am, and ending whenever I decide we should stop working to avoid collapse.  I place zucchinis into bins, watching drops of sweat fall from my brow fall onto them, pre-salting people's dinners!  I decide to stop when I can't do two simple things very well:  catch flying zucchinis tossed at me, and keep count.  The heat turns your brain into mush.

I've been appreciating the existence of facial hair -- eyebrows exist to keep sweat from running right into your eyes.  My female version of a mustache and beard hold beads of sweat as well, and I struggle to find a clean place on my shirt to wipe my face, something not already covered in dirt and sweat.  This must be detoxifying, right?

At  least we've been staying well-fed!  We have been blessed with a few kind CSA members and neighbors who've brought us lunch, so that when we collapse onto the picnic tables, we have some kind of calories to power us through another afternoon of work.

We decided to harvest our garlic in the hottest weather yet - over ninety and SUPER muggy.

We grew a record number of garlic bulbs this year -- over 7,000!  We dug them with a chisel plow, to save our backs (last year we used digging forks by hand!)... working smarter, not harder.

Another smart thing we did was clean and bunch them in the shade.

Even the dog got exhausted!


Luckily, we had the help of a few volunteers, and that made it go a bit faster.

We took the bunches of garlic to Jack's barn loft to hang.

Boy, it looks nice up there!  Now we wait 2 or 3 weeks or so until the garlic "cures", or dries down.  We have put a bunch of box fans up there to speed the drying process.

Also, Jonny got his pigs!  They are in the far back field, next to where we just pulled the garlic.  They are really cute, and look really happy in their jungle of weeds.  And they're growing fast!

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