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 One of the greatest challenges of being a small farm owner and manager is …. Managing family life as well as farm life. And August really brought that challenge home.

August is one of the super busy months—harvesting all the summer crops like peaches, tomatoes, squash, beans, and starting on the fall crops like spaghetti squash, apples, and onions. Plus we are preparing tunnels and the high tunnel for the next season, starting thousands of seeds for fall and winter growing, transplanting, and planting the last outside crops, many of which will overwinter.

The rain stopped and we have had some lovely days and some super hot days. Fortunately, all the summer crops love the heat! Tomatoes, lima beans, okra, peppers, corn, melons, peaches—the heat intensifies the flavor and gives us the wow that we all love.  The first summer apples have been full of flavor as well, so the heat has not bothered them!

We were happy to see a second cropping of black raspberries, red raspberries, and blackberries begin. These are all from plants that went in the ground this spring. I am always pleased to see young plants start producing. Happy and healthy plants make for wonderful fruit!

As always, we are sad to see our barn swallows leave, as they are the best insect consumers! Each bird consumes hundreds of insects per day. We had one little one who did not leave on the morning of the 24th with everyone else. I was concerned, but it is not like I could show him the way to South America!  I was relieved to see he was gone by evening. I hope he caught up with the rest of the swallows and makes it back in the spring.

And this year, we added four complicated health issues with extended family members. While these issues are not those of us working here on the farm, they are family members who are much loved. So, just like everyone else who provides support for a family member or a friend, we are scrambling to get everything covered. To make sure seeds get started and planted, crops are harvested, and the farm market has produce to sell. That the CSA packers have their lists of what goes in the shares this week and that deliveries happen as scheduled. That we go to doctor visits as needed, research unusual conditions, and find out the bus schedule for school.

This month, I want to say a special thank you to all of our great employees who have made it possible for me to be distracted by MRIs, labs, tests, medical personnel, health insurance coverage, specialists, emergency rooms, school supplies, and more. They have kept the store going, harvested crops, planted crops, made deliveries, picked up supplies, talked with customers, and done it all over again.  You are the best! These difficulties are a good reminder that it takes a village to get through life.I encourage everyone to eat your fresh vegetables and fruits, drink enough water, and get plenty of rest. We all feel better if we do these three simple things. And remember to say thank you to those people in your village who are supporting you in the way that they can. So—we thank you for helping us in any way that you do. We truly appreciate that you are part of our village and we appreciate your care and concern. It helps us get through these days!

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