Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn. The warmth of summer lingers still but the nights feel cooler now, spinach & arugula, lettuce mixes & Asian greens grow strong, and the light has begun to shift. Evenings shine warmth across the landscape, reddish-orange marigolds and pink zinnias glow radiant against the setting sun.
As the seasons shift, I’ve been reflecting on the summer days now behind us. And what I feel is gratitude – so much gratitude. Gratitude for the weather that we had this season and for all of the rain, gratitude for the fruit trees planted this spring (especially the paw paws), and gratitude for the people that I work with – Maria who brings so many new and creative ideas to AHF – can’t imagine life without her, Sophie & Ali, our awesome 2017 summer interns from Gettysburg College, and Angelique, Evan, Beth, & Harmony, and Lori, our dedicated work-shares. I also love working with the college students who lend a hand during the academic year – so much enthusiasm and good energy there!
A highlight from this summer was when we partnered with the Gleaning Project of SCCAP to host a summer camp from St Stephens Episcopal School. Located in Harrisburg, they visited the farm on a beautiful day. A few students from Mount Saint Mary’s University joined in and we picked beans, planted seeds, cleaned onions, and dead-headed flowers.
But, for me, the most beautiful experience I had this summer was witnessing my two-year old daughter, Hannah, begin to more fully discover and explore the world that she calls home. I watched her tunnel through rows of tomatoes, jump from compost piles, chase fireflies. I stood with her on the front porch while she leaned toward the edge, letting the rain wash over her. She began carrying small baskets and filling them with flowers and berries and stones. She learned to pick her own tomatoes, sometimes red, sometimes green. And as I bent over a small patch of ground weeding, Hannah would suddenly be by my side, weeding too. Bringing so much joy. Thriving. Releasing butterflies. Smiling. Learning names of the things that matter. Things like dirt.
What a lovely summer it has been.