A lesson from nature, on the solstice

Hello folks,

Happy Summer Solstice! I hope you're enjoying the sunshine in Maine on this longest day of the year...Anna and I are headed out later with our pup Willie, to swim and picnic on the bay in Brunswick. We've all been busy on the farm, planting and picking greens and things like this:

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There are some nice little cucumbers in the bottom right! More coming in every day, along with the zucchini...yellow squash is not far behind. And there are these summer-loving cowlicks of the garlic plant:

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Those are of course the garlic scapes! Tender and snappy little curly Qs which make a mighty fine pesto. Or toss them in olive oil and salt and grill them. We'll be making a big batch of pesto soon. Look for it at market by mid-July!

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I alluded in the title to a lesson from nature, and it relates to the image above of a beaver pond in our woods. Since it hasn't rained much this year, our irrigation pond can't keep up with the watering needs of our crops. My dad had the idea to go looking for water down in the gully near the fields. What he found was that a whole network of beaver ponds, and he hatched a scheme to pump water from the bottom pond into our irrigation pond, in order to recharge it. It has worked out amazingly. Even when we pump this bottom pond almost empty, it refills within a couple days. The chain of small ponds are even inspiring us to look at our landscape differently, and we are thinking about imitating the beaver and creating networks of small pocket ponds, which can fill and overflow into lower ponds...Thanks to the Beaver, nature's environmental engineer, for the lesson! 

Hope everybody has a great start to summer.

Best,

Ben