The nights lately are filled with the sound of crickets; there must be a lot this year because I have had them crawling on my bare feet twice, something that has never happened before. We often hear the territorial canine call of the coyotes in the field; sometimes much closer, in the trees, just below our bedroom window. It is a sound that is so inherent to my experience on this land; it makes me feel instantly alert and alive. We often hear an owl, and now there’s a rooster just over Route 131 (I’m glad it’s not closer!). I like this noisy time in nature.

I have heard from many other growers in the area that the Japanese beetles are notably overwhelming this year. I wonder what others are doing to manage them? I diligently picked them off our high bush blueberries last month, but I’ve been less motivated now. I wonder if it has to do with a lack of rain, although I have no idea why that would be.

We will soon have a beautiful sign up on the farm stand with our farm name that my dad made. Toki Oshima (who’s just over the Waldo town line in Belfast) put some artistic finishing touches on. Look for it soon.

I read that the rainfall deficit right now (before the recent rain) is the largest recorded to date, and particularly hard agriculturally speaking. You may notice smaller apples on your trees, or in our case, the quince just stopped growing weeks ago. We recorded 1.7” of rain this past week though; hopefully that helps.

Canning season has begun; we finally eliminated our groundhog problem and also put a small fence around most of our kitchen garden so the deer have been less pesky as well. The cucumbers are climbing the new cattle fence arched trellises we installed in the spring, and I’m starting to stockpile string beans in the fridge to make dilly beans.

What are your favorite things to preserve? Do you have a good recipe to share? I’d love to put it in the column.

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