The sun rose bright over the eastern tree line Sunday morning, its light glinting off the dew-hung grass. The wind was soft, the sky blue, but my walk through the fields was bittersweet, for I was saying goodbye. Not a forever goodbye, but in a few hours I’d board a plane for five weeks in Europe where I’ll visit friends and complete the last course of my MFA degree.
As I passed the pole beans reaching toward a yet-to-be-installed trellis, I imagined the profusion of vines that will greet me upon my return. The strawberries, their bright berries now gleaming underneath green leaves, will be vigorously sending out runners to form next year’s plants.
The green tomatoes, swelling larger each day, will be soft and red and juicy and sweet. The cucumber and melon vines will be tangled and heavy with fruit, spilling over the sides of their beds, and the zucchini plants now brushing my ankles will be grown to the size of small bushes. I will miss so much in five weeks! The first bean flower, the first ripe tomato—even the first of the dreaded cucumber beetles will make its appearance without me there to snatch it from the vines.
This trip is a rare opportunity and as the farm grows, it may be my last chance to get away during the growing season for many years to come. I’m happy to leave the farm in Diane’s very capable hands, knowing that she has many willing workers to assist her while I’m gone. She’s promised to send me regular farm updates and as I’m able, I’ll pass them along on the blog. In the meantime, I’ve arrived safely in the small German town of Heltersberg. The town is quite beautiful, but true to my farmer’s heart, I’ll admit that I am as fascinated with the plants and wild creatures I see about, including the largest slugs I have ever seen! Very glad these are not eating our lettuce and strawberries.