Hot and dry and no guarantee for rain. 98 degrees today and vegetables in long queues for a drink: two-hundred-foot lines of plastic tape laid out over all the fields, dripping water drip by drip every six inches. Like ladling small spoonfuls of soup into infants’ mouths. First the water is on for three hours in the potatoes; then the squash gets two; and when will we get to the onions? Somewhere, a few fields away, the spinach is parched and waiting, and the stalks of chard are leaning into each other the way that I lean into the doorway to wipe sweat off the brow. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that it was too wet to work?, we try to remember, hoes in hand, scraping the weeds out of the parsnips, and the parsnips so small that we work at a careful crawl so as not to uproot them– the parsnips so small that we barely hear them as we pull away the chickweed and they gasp for air in tiny voices.
Plants in line for transplant this week: celeriac, watermelons, and a second generation of tomatoes. First generation is trellised and growing and nearly ready to be trellised again: bushing out, little green cherries appearing on the branches. Our dreams abound of summer dinners laden with a quick fresh Marinara and grilled corn and chopped basil– so we tie the tomatoes with care and trim off the side shoots that the plants will grow tall.
Hot yes, but the days outrageously clear. Sky unbelievably huge. Problems: admire the field of new potatoes lying in wait or admire the clouds, sigh over the deep rose-blue cabbage or the robins-egg blue of the sky? Life would be made easier, we know, were it only that the heavens were built with whipped potatoes and the skyline dotted was mammoth broccoli florets and sunsets were layers col slaw and carmelized golden beets.