Summer on the Farm 

I’m spending the summer at my parents farm in central NY. And boy has it been a summer. It’s been hot and dry and around 90 degrees everyday for over a month now. I’ve gotten used to sleeping without blankets.

I am enjoying longs walks on my parents dirt road. There is no traffic on it–only one or two cars per day pass. Even when I turn the corner to the paved road there are few cars. Sometimes I see an Amish buggy. Summer wildflowers are in bloom on the side road ditches. I see mullein growing tall and am compelled to harvest some to dry for winter coughs but will I actually get to it? I often swat deer flies while I walk, I had a special stick for a while but my Mom opts for long sleeves, a hat and bug spray for her walks.

The neighboring farmers sunflowers opened and for a week I felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz. Also the wheat had just been cut and it was like the golden hills outside of Oz. Now the sunflower heads are drooping a little because the seeds are getting meaty. There was a racoon family that was gleaning the wheat field. For several consecutive nights three young raccoons and the mother came out to see our car from the wheat field like deer in headlights before disappearing into the woods. Mom named them Huey, Dewey and Louie and my brother reminded us that the mother would be setting them free probably very soon.

Two years ago my parents raised turkeys and kept them in the field out back. Consecutively wild turkeys also came by and visited. I guess they wanted to check out their distant cousins. The raised turkeys are long gone but other day I saw some wild turkeys on the road.

I’ve been making kale salads straight from the field. My favorite way to make kale salad includes:

Chopped kale
Olive oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Nutritional Yeast
Sea Salt
Nuts such as sunflower seeds. Apple slices can be nice.

Optional ingredients: honey, avocado, fresh garlic or onion.

The secret is to massage the dressing unto the kale for about 5 minutes with your hands.

The farm is in Amish country and while my parents are not Amish, they did buy an Amish farm. It has pros and cons.

It’s not always easy here, as the farm is missing some modern conveniences like being on the grid electricity, full plumbing and a strong Internet connection. This year is even harder as this area is going through a drought right in the middle of farming season. But it is peaceful and nature is in bounty. The frogs croak all night.

And the sunsets have been amazing.

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4 thoughts on “Summer on the Farm 

  1. Such a deeply peaceful narrative and photos here, Erin. Makes me wish I was there, to drink in the peace with you. Great tip about massaging the oil into the kale for 5 minutes, too (can’t stomach too-raw kale)! So glad you’re having this special summer. (“seattlesamba” = your friend June Rugh)

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