Temperatures have reached and held in the triple digits this past week. Fires rage and smolder in the Applegate and beyond, leaving the horizon hazy and the air difficult to breathe. Wasps and yellow jackets have become more aggressive as water is harder to find. Irrigation ditches are shallow and ponds are green with algae. In the fields, weeds that have already been knocked back 3 or 4 times grow back with a determination bordering on vindictiveness. It seems that there are only a few bearable hours in the day to work, but there is more work then ever to be done. We call this angry August. Wolf Gulch (as those of you coming out for brunch tomorrow will see) is dry and dusty at this time of year. Star thistle reigns in our unirrigated pasture, and I begin to question if the place is really habitable.
I consider the end of August akin to Wednesday as “hump day,” when over half the work week is over. While September can be as hot and dry as August, October is within arm’s reach and promises cooler days and vivid foliage. The shift in schedules, as kids go back to school and people return from vacations, is a bookend to summer- pointing to shorter work days for us weary farmers.
The flip side to Angry August is Awesome August, with melons and corn finally ripening, tomatoes in full swing, and the promise of fall fruits around the corner. Sunflowers abound, along with countless other blooming plants. We ate pesto dishes for dinner all last week, and gorged on fruits- peaches, plums, melons and berries for breakfast. The sweltering heat rewards us with a surfeit of sugars and color. It is time to begin preserving food for the winter to extend this extravagant banquet of late summer harvests. It is truly Awesome August!
Tom and I look forward to hosting our Wolf Gulch brunch and strawberry pick tomorrow. Remember to save September 8th and October 13th for future SSC Farm days if you haven’t already.