The Swing of Things 7/15/22

The Swing of Things 7/15/22

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

We’ve been getting afternoon showers again.  It was so dry for so long and despite the fact that our friends and neighbors were getting rain for weeks all around us, the drops avoided our soil for the longest time.  It seemed as though the clouds were taunting us.  Holding tight to their sprinkles until they passed overhead and then dropping them generously onto the neighbors’ fields while casting a wry grin over a shoulder in our direction.  

   The weather patterns here have so much more nuance than the ones I grew up with in Northern California.  It’s really interesting how much variation there is in just a half a mile out here.  Sometimes it works to our benefit (multiple missed hailstorms over the years) and sometimes not (last couple months).  It’s always interesting though.

  We came home to find a few thousand of our dahlias had perished in the extreme dry conditions.   Leaving the farm for any period of time is always a gamble and we knew the risk we were taking by leaving for 3 weeks.  There’s just so much happening all over the place all the time that the minute you stop monitoring and maintaining everything, entropy takes the wheel.  It wasn’t an uplifting discovery, but Mandy wisely had back-up tubers waiting in the event of significant loss and she and the ladies managed to re-plant a great deal of what was lost.  So, lemonade.

  I love a late night.  Always have.  But these days (thanks in part to jet-lag) we are up at 5:00 a.m. and out in the fields by 6:00 to beat the heat and get stuff done.  So much planting and weeding and soil building and pruning is happening in the fields and tunnels.  I’m in repair mode, turning wrenches and working on solar arrays, lawn mowers, golf carts, trucks, tractor, and starting to dismantle the veggie system from the Sprinter van that’s been sitting on blocks since February 2020.  We had a fleet of 4 veggie oil fueled vehicles that serviced all of our markets and wholesale customers and after 2 years of designing and a month of nights and weekends installing the system what was to be our 5th greasy vehicle, Covid hit, we stopped going to markets, and no longer had use for 4 huge vehicles, let alone the 5th.

  There’s something sad about dismantling something that was so close to being finished, but pragmatism is an ally and attachment is an anchor when you need to keep moving.  It’ll also be nice to not have a huge vehicle up on blocks anymore.  Cleared space somehow expands the chest and allows fuller inhalation.

  So, we’re back in the Comer groove, hustling through our weekdays and looking forward to Saturday morning coffee and donuts at Comer Coffee while chatting with neighbors.  Constantly aware how much those small moments are big gifts.  After years of not having weekends or a town with any central meeting space, we now have both.  It’s a little Norman Rockwell-y and I’m digging it.  I like my neighbors.


Aslyn and Kalen of Comer Coffee Co.