Farming in July can be intense.  The weeds need pulling, the tomatoes need trellising, the seedlings need planting, the vegetables need harvesting, and everything needs water. It often seems as if there isn’t enough time, because everything demands our attention. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but I’ve discovered many ways to keep focused and motivated:

It is OK to finish later. It’s common to get less productive at the end of a long day of work. Sometimes it’s better to walk away from a project and come back later with a rested body and mind.

I pick my battles. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been walking on the farm, headed for a task, and I get distracted by five other things I see need doing. I determine whether whatever it is can wait, and if it can, I add it to my mental priority list and  continue on. Most things on my list get finished; some things never will, but that’s OK!

I ask for help. One reason why I truly love working at Stearns is because of its supportive community. There are many people who help make the farm a success and I am so thankful for the help. 

I observe progress. Some tasks are tedious and feel like they will never end. Whenever I start getting down about how long something is taking, I just tell myself, “Well, it’s better than it was 30 seconds ago” and I instantly feel better.

I take care of myself. When I am at the farm, I make sure to drink water, eat snacks, and wear sunscreen. Thought it may seem obvious, it took me a while to realize that I also needed to take care of myself after work as well. When I am home, I continue to hydrate, then I go to bed early, and eat a good breakfast. It’s crucial to start the day off rested and nourished!

I let go. Farming has taught me the value–and necessity–of accepting that there are many things out of my control. There are some tasks that won’t get done, some crops that won’t survive, the weather won’t be perfect, and you can never predict how a growing season will go. I have learned to improvise and make things work when the unexpected happens. 

Pretty soon all of our hard work this season will pay off. We have tons of things to look forward to. Thank you all once again for your support during this busy time of year. Seeing all of you at pick up,  excited about your veggies, is the best motivation of all.

Until next time,