August is upon us and the year seems to be flying by as summer crop harvests are in full swing and the season of vegetable processing begins. The native bees of this area flock to the garden’s flowers in this time and it is wonderful to see such vigorous pollination activity. Walking up and down the main path you can see the elderberries opening their flowers and the surprising variety and enormous number of insects loading up on pollen.
Our nook of the Ozarks has fortunately been spared from the heatwaves seemingly occurring all over the globe. This, my fourth summer, has been the most mild summer I’ve experienced at East Wind. The gardens still require plenty of watering, but we are far from drought (after my initial posting, garden manager Richard informed me that we are in fact in a moderate drought according to the monitor and that this is one of the hottest summers we’ve experienced… must be the lack of humidity this year that has biased me).
Work on Latherus, our new showerhouse, is steadily reaching the first showers and baths of the year. Above you can see East Winders working on the public shower room. There is also a private shower room as well as a private bathtub room. The tiling and final fixtures are soon to be complete and everyone is excited to use this luxuriously large space.
The nut butter factory is humming along after a three week break from production and ‘tahini week’ will start by the end of the month. Tahini week is actually a two week span that starts with a truckload of 45,000 pounds of 100% organic sesame seed coming into our loading dock and ends with pallets and pallets of 16oz jars and 15lb tubs of 100% organic tahini resting in our refrigerated warehouse, ready for shipment. We only make tahini twice a year, so it is kind of a big deal.
The height of summer can be a convenient time to travel. I have been a bit discombobulated lately as I’ve traveled for weekend stints away from the farm twice in the past month. One trip to see family in my hometown and another for a music festival. My picture taking has been lackluster, I must admit. I haven’t even gotten pictures of our root cellar or the many food preservation techniques we employ to maintain our garden surpluses into the winter. This will have to do for now.
I’ve been taking lots of film in preparation of a video roll out on YouTube in late fall. The latest documentary on East Wind has been taking off, with over 110,000 views now (much of that in the past month), so I’m feeling the pressure to ride this wave of attention. Clearly the interest in communal living is picking up and that is a wonderful trend to observe first hand. Stay tuned!
Post and pictures by Sumner