Saturday, August 18:
What we are here – here on this website – to do is to catalogue, for the benefit of the similarly-inclined, just how attainable is a family-scale farm, that few acres which, tended by those who live on them, will produce almost unbelievable amounts of food, enough to feed all the people, and all the animals, whose efforts make that farm happen. Summer is the most astonishing evidence of that attainability.
This is most certainly the time of year when we do the most and can say the least about it; there is no time.
Most of the corn has been eaten or frozen. Every few days means another ten or fifteen gallons of tomatoes to sauce and can. The apples at the monastery must be picked this week, or they will begin falling and bruising. Green beans are on the menu every night, and we can only be glad to see the last cucumber vines succumbing to wilt, as we have eaten and pickled about all we can stand.
Seasonal eating means delighting in it, depending upon it, and getting tired of it, in quick succession.
Everyone is presently at home, and, the sky being open and dry, the men took the second cutting of hay from the meadows today. There were three of them in the field from breakfast until dinner, and afterward, while some were doing the milking, others went back to the field to cut the last swathes. If the weather holds we will be baling on Monday or Tuesday.
The freezer and the shelves in the basement must attest to the persistence of our efforts, they and the growing number of cheeses waxed and aging in the dairy refrigerator until we can build a rodent-proof cool box for the cave, as we call the dirt-floored cellar under the new part of the house. In the best of all possible worlds we would not presently be making cheeses during this so-busy gardening season, but when the last pig went into the freezer we had to choose between making cheese with the extra four of five gallons of milk a day, or pouring it on the compost heaps. The decision did not require much thought. There are two young parmesans in the refrigerator, two colbys drying, and a third colby in the press.