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Quail Hill Farm | A Note From Scott | On the Cusp of Summer

June 16, 2017

By Scott Chaskey

I have been recently reading from a remarkable book, “The Gift,” by Lewis Hyde (25th Anniversary edition), of “the liquid light…and the fecundity of nature,” and indeed to be a grower of plants, or one committed to “the outside,” is to be surrounded by this. Our long autumns are so endearing I tend to forget that the beauty of June is an equal, even when cool and wet predominates. And then suddenly it is summer!

I began my book “This Common Ground” with this sentence: “In a peninsular place the clarity of light is partly what lures the lover of land and water.” Take a step into our valley this June, especially in the morning or again at the end of the day, and you will witness that clarity. The silver sea light illumines the fresh green of cedars, apple leaves, nettles, wild mustards, lovage, sage, and lavender sending shoots through the silt loam in the herb crescent. The Deep Lane pin oak planted on the year we first seeded the fields unfurls long green leaves to touch the azure above, and the tulip tree on the hill is an echo of that gesture.

And we, working daily here, also mimic that gesture, with seeds and seedlings that add to the green flush of June. As we sow we also receive: witness the beautiful, twining blossoms of our favorite cover crop, Austrian Winter peas, feeding the soil in an artful way, and the brilliant blues of bachelor’s buttons that have reseeded from last year’s Spring sowing. That’s fecundity, and we have something to do with it because we have chosen to cultivate this soil with care as you have chosen to harvest from it, but the original source for it all (the imagination!) is a gift of the sun that supplies the liquid light. Lewis Hyde begins his book with a brief epigraph resonant for those who participate in a community farm: “What is good is given back.”