How does one measure a season at Restoration Farm? As the 2013 growing season comes to a close, I reflect on the months that have passed. Do the variety of vegetables, the abundance of the yield, or the finicky nature of the weather determine the worth of a harvest and the character of a growing season? Or is it something more?
Is it the bushels of crunchy broccoli that come off the field late in the season, and literally glisten in the morning sun?
Is it the endless abundance of juicy heirloom tomatoes that delighted us well into the weeks of autumn?
Is it the wet fields that struggled to produce?
Perhaps it’s the hundreds of tiny seeds planted early in the year, that yield miraculous results?
Is it the burgeoning flock of heritage chickens?
Or, the number of additional inches the youthful apple trees grew in stature at Apple Trace?
Perhaps it’s the distinctive Long Island Cheese Pumpkins that add a festive glow to autumn?
Or the pounds of potatoes harvested?
Was it the fact that the kale crop struggled?
Maybe it’s the chunks of loamy soil that sustain the rows of plants?
Or, the tender lettuce that dresses so many salads?
Most certainly, it is the smiles of members, and the lively conversations that punctuate a morning distribution of vegetables. It’s the nourishment the farm provides to body, soul and community.
And, it’s the unshakable feeling that no matter where you might roam, you can always come home to Restoration Farm.
As this chapter concludes, there are already signs of new stories and new seasons to come. The foundation is poured for a permanent farm support building that will take the place of the venerable outdoor distribution tent. The building will be constructed during the winter months and feature a produce cooler, a farm office, and a covered patio for the farm stand and vegetable distributions.
And, so we turn the page and wait with anticipation for the cycle to begin again.
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