Some transitional moments are happening at the farm. An intern left to attend a different university. A different intern contacted us and replaced them. At least one intern out of four has been on vacation for a few weeks. As labor availability decreases and challenges increase, it becomes apparent that the season will not have the grand finish we all hoped for. The director has instructed me to start closing down fields by putting them into cover crops rather than planting food crops. The interns never really progressed into a farm force and still mostly require my presence to be effective. In short things are bad and I am in charge, it weighs on me and I am struggling mentally with the disappointment and stress. My own farm has suffered terribly, it is not really even a garden any more. I spend days pulling the infrastructure out of the weeds and overgrown spring plants. Soon it will at least be back to a lawn rather than neck high weeds. I recognize areas where I need to improve but can’t decide what part of the failing is my fault. My home farm is of course 100% my shortcomings and I have a loose plan on how to move forward. A past self would have worked harder and faster to try to make everything perfect. My current self gets heat exhaustion easily and has lost touch with how to unwind or let go of stress.
United States citizens pay the least for food than any other nation. The expectation of paying very little for goods and services passes exploitation from person to person. One person who is underpaid can’t afford to pay fairly for the goods and services of another so they seek the affordable option. The system degrades itself, like always choosing the lowest bidder for a job the lowest quality is always provided.
The pest and disease pressure on the farm as well as a new vagrant camp has been difficult as well. We are losing plants faster than we are planting new ones and the deer pressure has resumed in full force despite a functional electric fence. There is nothing that could not have been prevented, treated or corrected but it requires a lot of time for labor, money for inputs and more than one person with the knowledge to implement.
In spite of all these problems we are starting shorter season crops such as greens and beans for fall harvest.