Paul Cates, 87, weeds Wednesday around the bed of Kokadjo gladiolas in a plot at his family’s Vassalboro farm.

The fourth of six generations to cultivate his family’s soil along China Lake, Cates said he usually starts weeding by 5 a.m. and resumes in the late afternoon when the temperature drops.

Most of the plants are sold to florists, but Cates plans to exhibit several specimens at the Windsor Fair at the Maine Gladiola Society’s show on August 26.

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