At Morning Glory Farm, the strawberries are gone and the peas are in. The farm hands are filling baskets with beets, carrots and scallions. And the potatoes are doing well.
Dan Athearn of Morning Glory Farm was busy on Saturday morning moving lettuce onto his stand at the West Tisbury Farmers' Market. His father, Jim, was not far away.
The corn is already hip-high, and Jim Athearn said he thinks it will be ready for picking by July 25, which is also Dan's birthday.
"I think it has been a bad season for peas," said Donald Mills of West Tisbury. "A lot of my peas didn't germinate. It was a long, wet spring and it brought some bugs. It has been a tough time for legumes."
Mr. Athearn's experience has been different. "My peas are okay," he said.
Farming is a tough business. If it isn't the soil, it is the weather, and if it isn't the weather it is the farm hands, or maybe the weeds. But for most farmers, this season of 2002 has begun well.
"I usually can't tell you what kind of season it is until the fall," said Mr. Athearn.
"We've gone four weeks without sufficient rainfall," said Andrew Woodruff of Whippoorwill Farm in West Tisbury. Everyone is irrigating. Mr. Woodruff is doing well providing fresh greens, salad, basil and tomatoes to the local grocery stores and farmers' market. He is not running a farm stand.
"It is dry," said Mr. Woodruff. "We need a good rain."
Rainfall totals for the last couple of weeks are running behind the agricultural community's needs. Last month the Vineyard received 3.09 inches of rainfall, more than the monthly average of 2.65 inches. But the last significant rainfall was on the weekend of June 15 and 16, when the Island saw close to an inch.
Rain fell on the Island Wednesday morning, but the National Weather Service cooperative station recorded just .07 inches, not enough to count.
Precipitation totals for the year are slightly ahead of the average, but there remains a deficit for the ground water level.
Farmers, meanwhile, don't follow the annual totals that closely; what they want to see is a little bit of rain every couple of days.
"I've got zucchini coming out of my ears," said Kara Taylor at Nip 'n' Tuck Farm off State Road in West Tisbury. All the flowers are doing well. Cosmos are just now blooming, along with ageratum and cynanchum. "I have a beautiful stand of hollyhocks," she said.
Mr. Woodruff said he has had a great deal of success raising salad mix, an assortment of greens, under a light cloth which keeps out the insects.
Hay has been cut across the Island. In the last week, truckloads have been hauled from one town to the next.
Jim Athearn said: "It was good weather for the first cut of hay." The first grass that is cut are the oats which shelter the clover, timothy and alfalfa. Oats are a good first crop for another reason: "Oats shade out the weeds, too," he said.
Jack Reed of West Tisbury raises a variety of micro-greens and wheat grass. "As long as the water pressure continues we're okay. We spend so much of our time watering," he said.
Neil Flynn of West Tisbury harvests honey. "This year is so much better than last year," he said. "Last winter we lost 20 hives to starvation due to last year's poor crop." But this year the bees are having no trouble finding nectar. There are flowers blossoming across the Island. "Yes, you'd never think that some years are better than others. This is definitely a better year."