The Farm Report from Turkey Hill

  (Tallahassee, Florida)
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quiet nights

The tide has turned. The seasonal tide. The lettuces that have been taking 7 to 8 weeks to market will now take 10 plus. Funny it has taken so many years to accept that fact. That after the October full moon, there is a full on shift; we will still have warm days, maybe even hot, but the long dark nights are here until one day in February we look up and notice the sun is just a scoshe higher. It is one reason I love to live in the country. Dark nights, many stars. I love the dark of the moon. Dark moon nights lend themselves to bonfires as well as early to bed. Lately I have watched the remnant of the Harvest Moon rising just ahead of the sun. A slight little moon slinging from limb to limb through the nearly bare old pecan tree, just peeking over the top before Big Sun clears the sky of stars. The owls who were so vocal during the rise and early fall of the moon have quieted down now, and the grey fox has found his mate. The crickets are coming into the realization that nights will not always support their serenades and the katydids are done. “Quiet nights and quiet stars...”

I thought that living the “farm life” would automatically impart a deep understanding of the rhythm of the moon and sun, along with the all planets. Hahahahahha. Nothing is automatic, except bank charges. I have finally, finally come to grasp that the new moon in the west is really the setting of the old moon from the east after a long day crossing the sky behind Big Sun. Even in fourth or fifth grade when they brought in the cool earth moon solar system gyro thing, I could never get it. So after years and years of this, I am ready to say; some things I just don't understand. And I don't even need to understand it. Other people do, and they are happy to share their understanding. We have a super duper calendar that helps us plant and harvest on the best days.

These days we are digging sweet potatoes, planting garlic, pulling weeds, planting celery, parsley, lettuce, kale, chard, beets. Goodness grows, and lately we have had generous help from a slew of volunteers. This has been a huge boon to the farm, you know who you are and if you think it was a small thing what you did when you volunteered that day at the farm and yanked nutgrass from the lettuce row or tied up a pepper plant or transplanted a baby lettuce or dug a few turmeric roots, or helped with lunch and laundry; I'm here to tell you it was no small thing to us. Big appreciation to you all.

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