Monday, October 19, 2009

Circling Our Wagons

We move into the autumn every year with a sense of relief. The late winter, spring and summer present with such a fury that we rarely have a moment to come up for air and evaluate how its all going. We are putting out fires and keeping the ship afloat. But as the season winds down, even with work to do: wood to cut for the spring greenhouse heat (not to mention our living space over the winter)

and crops to cover in an attempt to get just a few more precious weeks of greens, we are more available to reflect over the entirety of the season.

We have only been farming since 2002. Back then, eight seasons worth of experience would have seemed graciously enough for us to feel confident and prepared for challenges of the job at hand. But even after a good season, we reflect on the gaping inadequacies of our experience. After a season like the one we have just had, we reflect on the inadequacies of all farmers in our state. Rain and cold weather kept everyone's yields very low. It was a kind of blessing, then, that I found a book documenting the Dust Bowl years between 1930 and 1937.
The lack of rain, and over-plowing of the land ruined 100 million acres of farmland. Deep soil that had been built up over millions of years was blown away in a comparative blink of an eye. That puts things in perspective! Among our many blessings is our access to sustainable farming practices that teach conservation. That advantage goes hand in hand with our community -- our market-- which also values sustainability. In fact, that direct link between us as producers, and our community is our strongest asset. It has allowed us to develop over the years-- from years where we've only had dependable crops of mustard greens and weeds, to years when we've had boons of tomatoes and watermelons. The closer that gap, the more understanding our customers are when the rain comes and does not stop! Thank you for that!
Years ago, one of our dedicated "co-producers" gave us this quote by Scott Nearing, "Do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind." We hope to end our day and our season guided by this sentiment.

The last Harvest!
  • chard
  • parsley
  • fennel
  • carrots
  • Blue hubbard baby squash
  • Lettuce
  • onions
  • Garlic
Sorry for the past weekends cancellation of the work party. We will try again this Sunday, at 9 till noon. We will see you soon!

Blessings on the meal!

1 comment:

  1. i found your blog/site through soulemama. beautiful photos and words. thank you for the quote. that's just how i feel, and yet a mantra to be cross-stitched and hung up in the kitchen.
    enjoy the work party :)