One Day of Summer

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One Day of Summer

One personal trait among others that, I believe, a farmer must possess is to have is “spine”. I know this from personal experience, for I myself ran a CSA project earlier in this century. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, meaning the community “supports” the organic vegetable grower by buying in advance vegetable baskets that are delivered once a week, something we did for four months or so every summer five years running.

“Having spine” means looking out your window following days of either non-stop rain or very cool conditions – or both – and not having a panic attack.

Besides being too old to carry on this project – at the busiest we fed 32 families on our 1-acre plot of land – I freely admit that I do not possess the necessary spine. Many, many times, more times than I would like to remember, I gazed outside my window, thinking incessantly about the little seedlings freezing out there in our garden, and do nothing short of panic.

So it is with a much lighter heart that I am able to contemplate what is now occurring in our region of southern Quebec, namely, enjoying our to-date “1 day of summer”.

That’s what Trudy said to me last night. “It’s been great,” she said, as we enjoyed a lively bedside chat at two o’clock in the morning, “the one day of summer so far.”

Sarcasm aside, she wasn’t too far off.

As I write this a fire is burning brightly in our wood fireplace. Hello! It’s June 7th! We never burn fires to keep us warm in June. I was flabbergasted that we were burning fires two weekends ago during that very chilly weekend.

Last weekend it was stiflingly humid. Perhaps that was the one day of summer Trudy was talking about. From Trudy, who is constantly checking the weather reports from the Internet, it’s always, “they’re predicting warm weather. The temperatures are going up,” only to wake up to another dark and dreary day of rain and damp, cool weather.

I know that I shouldn’t complain. Five minutes of watching American television will make you grateful for whatever lousy weather you’re having. Believe me, somewhere in the U.S.A. someone is praying that he or she could be having our weather.

It seems that the only thing predictable about the weather in the last ten years is its unpredictability. For example, this past May saw very warm and dry weather. Gardeners were planting all kinds of heat-loving vegetables and praying for some rain to relieve the drought.

Sorry to say this but these vegetables, if they’re still alive, are probably stunted from the cold and swollen head to root with water.

This past winter, my wife and I bemoaned the lack of snow for cross-country skiing. Then March came around. By the time the month was over we had skied every weekend at Centre Plein Air Sutton in a completely unexpected , enjoyable and unprecedented abundance of snow.

When I see the very cool and rainy month that we’ve just gone through, from mid-May til today, I can only feel bad for the farmers who must feed all the city clients who have signed up to their CSA. Talk about pressure! Perhaps I’m projecting, perhaps I’m just seeing a younger version of myself staring out the window at the rain pitter-pattering down and thinking of nothing but drenched vegetables and soggy soil. I can only pray for their sake that more normal temperatures return and that nature rediscovers that beautiful balance between very warm sunny days and the timely blessing of rain.

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