This is Heidi Accola from Roots & Shoots, LLC, a 43-share, 1.3-acre certified organic CSA and market farm 45 min NW of Madison.
The farmer’s market begins in May and we attend every Saturday. The flock of 200 chickens is at egg-laying capacity. The skincare products need restocking. The maple syrup and canned treats need labeling. The meat chicks must be ordered so that we have roasting chickens ready in September. The fields are lush with growth, and sometimes lush with weeds. There’s a hoop house to be ordered and built, a solar system to research more fully, and a nifty old grain cleaner that needs to be converted to a root barrel washer by fall.
Summer is full of chances to build muscles, build relationships, build community and build family.
Because we have a 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son at home, summer is also a crucial time for us to spend time with them making memories. So our summers are also a time for kayaking, hiking, biking, watching fireworks and sneaking in short trips to spend time with friends, family and each other.
Summer is the time for our family corn day, the one day each year we dedicate entirely to putting up sweet corn for our freezers. It’s a time for us to sell loads of sweet corn to our customers who want corn for their own freezers. And late summer is the time for me to work every day on canning, drying or freezing the produce from my fields for our own pantry and freezers, so that we can eat fantastically all winter long. And it’s the time we have many bulk orders of vegetables for our many customers who want to do the same.
But if it’s the details of farming that interest you, I will tell you that the fall carrots were just planted, the fall beets must be planted this week, the 3rd and last planting of cucumbers and zucchini will go into the ground this week, and we will continue to plant lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, turnips, spinach, herbs and much, much more until we hit the time of year when it is simply too late to plant more. At that point, I will start attending the market 2 times per week, start filling our freezers, and make sure we have enough members for our fall and winter CSA shares.
Summer is lovely. It is rich and full and loud and crazy and colorful and heavy and fast. Okay, I give in. Summer is busy. Just busy.