Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Death of a Hand Model

Regular "farm hand" (top right), post-tomato trellising (left), and washing the tomato hand (bottom right)

Woo doggy, it's hot out there! The start of Summer has brought on a whole new set of crops to plant, maintain, harvest, and wash. We have officially harvested the last of salad mix, kale, spinach, turnips, and other vegetables that either dislike the heat and/or have gotten overrun by legions of Harlequin bugs or the like. I find that the Summer vegetables have a personality all their own. Among other things, they prefer to put up more of a fight when giving up their goodies. The use of spines, itchiness, and hide-and-seek tactics are the new norm. 

Last week saw multiple days of tomato trellising, in which we hand-hammered T-posts into the ground all throughout the line, ran three rows of wire down the posts, and hand-tied tomato vines to the wire using square knots of jute twine. This gets the vines, and thus the fruit, off of the ground. As illustrated above, I had already lost my potential hand model status due to the numerous nicks and cuts and the perpetual layer of dirt (perma-dirt) that comes along with farm work. Trellising tomatoes brought a whole new level of dirty hand to the table, though. Strangely enough, after handling tomatoes for two hours you accumulate a layer of yellow so thick that it appears brown. You don't get a full feel for the amount of plant residue until you wash your hands and watch neon yellow water run down the drain for three minutes.

The new additions to the menu lately have been okra, tomatoes, two variety of beans, and two varieties of squash. Very soon, we should be adding basil, eggplant, and cucumbers.  

Out with the old, in with the new.

Matoes, patty pan squash, and an unusually spiraled okra


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