Longest Day

I am writing this after the sun has gone down on the longest day of the year. Looking back on the day, it seems like a lot can be done with fifteen hours of light fueling you.

All of us farmers started the morning with our regular Tuesday walk around, observing how the fields have changed over the weekend (a lot, mainly weeds).

We harvested and washed eighteen late spring/early summer crops for three food pantries before lunch (alongside many volunteers, of course). After eating a stir fry of farm veggies followed by popsicles, there was weeding in the cucumbers and the beets, broken up by a delivery of 150 bales of salt marsh hay.

When the farm was quiet, but the sun was still high and strong in the afternoon, I processed some of our harvest for the winter months. Strange to think of winter on the first day of summer, but the basil and scapes have been calling to be made into pesto and frozen. I harvested St. John’s wort, as it is said to be most potent on the solstice, and stuck it into jars of oil, to redden over the upcoming weeks.

On the longest day of the year, dinner can be made when the light is slanting in the window, with time to think about the day and what it means for the season. The longest day, always sneaks up on me, and always feels bittersweet. This is the beginning of summer—but our upcoming days are slowly shortening? I feel the panic of summer already slipping away even though it hasn’t started yet. But then the work tells me it’s our busiest farm time—when weeds grow twice as fast as crops and harvests take everyone’s hands all morning to pick, wash, and box.

Today is a testament to the energy that we get from the sun and strawberry moon for this work. Pushing us and the plants to move and grow, despite the obstacles. As the sun is finally down, I take a cue from the closing blue light as a sign to rest for the day to come.