There is an ancient story about a time long long ago....cough cough spew. The dragon of summer is here and we are all about to enter it's great jaws. As a market gardener when summer is extreme it comes down to preservation. Getting up and working in the early of the day then resting in the heat and continuing on into the evening. Watching and hoping the plants can cope and deal with the stress of the blistering heat. Let along staying cool and hydrated as humans. I have suffered heat stroke 3 times in my life (one was in Cambodia after a night on the turps!) so staying wet and drinking lots of water is essential for me and all on the farm. Summer can be a boom time in the garden with the massive abundance coming from the fruiting vegetables tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, chili and not to mention cucumber. At the same time there is a reliance on this extra income to carry the farm through the leaner winter and early spring months. Understanding what it takes to produce food is very important part of being human. Without it we simply wither and perish. If you are a fellow growing then good luck for the upcoming summer. Shade cloth, mulch, water and dedication are all essential to get by. If things go south then patience and gratitude are needed. And when you cannot give anymore Autumn cries out 'DON'T FORGET ME' and you have to tighten your belt and push harder. I have been living through this cycle for over 10 years and I keep coming back and living through it. It's like being on the edge. I keep jumping off knowing that I will be dragged back again. Knowing that I am part of peoples lives though the food I grow is very rewarding but maybe it's the cycle of life that I live so closely with that keeps me coming back and the sheer abundance and simplicity of it; eating whatever I am growing whenever I like the brings the most joy. The dragon will come and the fire will burn then the phoenix rises and flies into the horizon where it goes nobody knows.
pictures - drying onions, mystery plants, burdock and the tomato patch