The seed catalogues make farming look so orderly and easy: neat rows of weed- and bug-free onions and carrots. Eggplants ripe and dark with luscious foliage. Uniform-sized, unblemished green peppers. The photos never show groundhogs munching away on the cabbages, slugs taking out the green beans, or white beetles infesting the stalks of the squash plants. But this is reality.

Our farm is producing beautiful, nutritious crops. This week alone we harvested 96 lbs of 12 different crops—and that weekly volume will grow significantly over the next month or so.

But we also grow weeds, and feed bugs, and discard soft, spoiled vegetables. Farming—like life—is a mix of success and failure, joy and disappointment. Despite the sanitized versions of life we see in glossy magazines and on social media, harvests and weeds grow together. And for all the pests and blights, life bears some truly beautiful fruit.