There is nothing quite like August on the farm. The dryers are bursting with the richest of smells, fragrant flowers, cooling mint, soul-stirring spices. Plants seem to grow each day, and the field is buzzing with life. As we walk the rows of crops, checking them for readiness or surveying them before harvest we are always greeted with a cacophony of activity, as honey bees, bumble bees and a million types of other flying insects hover above and work throughout the canopy. We are in the middle of a heat wave, really the most significant of the summer. Unlike most the U.S., Oregon has seen a pretty mild summer for the most part.
Mornings are starting to have a feeling of fall and we are starting to see the first reddening of the poison oak leaves and some slight changing of color in some of the trees. The contrasts between the irrigated and non-irrigated spaces has become more extreme. The golden hues of late summer intertwined with the deep green of the field. The late afternoon breeze kicks up little dust devils here and there along the edge of the field roads. Even as we are keeping the dryers full with the bounty of summer, the fall root harvest is starting to become a thought in our minds. Digging tools are being prepared, wash stations assembled. Our team is staying busy with the harvests, the weeding and the watering. We are doing our best to take advantage of the hot afternoons for a quick dip in the river, enjoying the work at dusk as the temps cool and the crickets and frogs come out to greet us.
Summer goes so fast, lost in the endless checklists of to-do’s. As herb farmers we do our best to capture summer in the bounty of the harvest. Big beautiful flowers, herbs at the peak of their potency, there is seemingly no end at the moment however we know in mere weeks we will look back longingly at the abundance of the season, nourished through the winter with dried herbs and goodies from the farm and garden.