It's August 22nd today... and I sold what I believe is our last pail of berries today.... The greenhouse is closed and there will be no more pickers coming for berries. For the first time since the first week of May, we won't be expecting customers. I know a good businessman should never look forward to having no customers, but there is a big part of me that has begun to smile. Since I started planting tomatoes in the greenhouse at the end of February, every day has been an open-for-business day.
I'm worn out. We still have to harvest the garden. and put away the vegetables. Mika has to can and make jams and pie fillings... and then her orders of salsa, but for the most part, life begins to slow down just a bit. I can do a bit of work around the place without having to stop every few minutes to talk with customers or explain flowers or berries or whatever.
When I was a kid, summer was a time to lay on the grass and look up at the clouds. As a greenhouse owner and berry farmer, summer means endless work and worry. I don't know if it's worth it. I love the berries and I love growing things, but I would also like to take my kids canoeing or fishing or other things that people who do not work 16 hours a day do.
I told Mika tonight that next year, we shouldn't work so hard. We shouldn't plant so many flowers. We shouldn't worry so much whether people come to pick or not. We shouldn't spend so much on advertising. We shouldn't try to grow the business. We should... rather... enjoy life a little bit more. Being able to grow our own food and flowers is a grea...t and wonderful way to live life. But maybe, just maybe... we don't have to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Still, I don't think I'd want to head into September without my own tomatoes ripening on the vines I planted last February or the saskatoon schnapps I make... or the potatoes in the basement that will last until spring.
Still, I don't know anyone who looks forward to summer as much as I do... and then is so incredibly happy when it's over.