Daniel Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing is a great compilation of research, neuroscience and economics across the globe in all cultures regarding the question of timing really being a science and not so much of an art. This books talks specifically about the rough falls in life and advises not to make big decisions during a tough time.
Farming is a natural version of his book based a great deal in the scientific, seasonal rhythms of temperature and precipitation. Timing in farming is everything, and right now for us on the farm, there is not enough time to get it all done! As we are planting in all of our fields, we have entered the great need for cultivation, the act of eliminating weeds so they do not swallow up our precious vegetables.
As we have finished our big pest hatches (for the most part), we now set our sights to finesse tractors and their ability to get in between the plantings and knock out the weeds early. If we wait too long, we are doomed. The secret of course is that we can only watch and observe and act when the exact moment presents itself. If the lettuces are growing slow and weeds fast, we are on it, but if we have a few days to spare we can tend to other needed tasks.
Every day in the month of June and July is a matter of WHEN, and we do like to think of it as an art and a science. It is a science only to be realized after many years of practice and mistakes. It is an art in using your senses to really tap into the current moment and know exactly when to act and when to wait. Similar to the elk who seem to know exactly when the baby romaine are perfect for snatching, we must rely on our better senses to feel, smell, taste when crops are ready for cultivation and when they are ready for harvest. Enjoy the long days and yummy veggies.
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