I don’t have any children, but if I did, I imagine having her go off to college would not be unlike the feeling I had the other day picking radishes. Sounds odd? Read on.
I was picking radishes for my CSA farm members when I realized that unlike the mustards and pea tendrils, this radish was not coming back. More radishes would not fill the hole this perfect little French Breakfast once filled. Once gone, it will be gone for good.
I planted these seeds at night, because I am understaffed and the sun was setting quicker than I was seeding. I placed each seed by hand gingerly into its proper place because I have yet to master my seeder. I did my best to manually beat back weed pressure to give the radish the best chance of success and I ventured to give these radishes neighbors they would really enjoy. They were nurtured and pampered and loved, these little radishes.
I actually considered keeping the radishes on the field and replanting them. I wondered if they would grow again if I stuck them back into the ground. I was creating a list of reasons why the radishes should stay put. I then realized I was going through a radish version of empty nest syndrome and slowly came to terms that the radishes should be shared. As farmer, I did my best to help the radish, but then I must let it go off into the world.
Farming is work. It is laborious and time intensive. It is even emotional at times. But what I've come to find, more than anything, is that farming is a new lesson every day. And on this morning, in the misty fields of Amagansett, I learned that sharing the fruits of my labor would be the greatest gift of all. Farming is certainly about planting roots, but it is not about keeping them.
I’m glad the radishes are going to happy homes.