Thursday, September 1, 2011

In spite of conditions

I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about the heat and the drought. Right now its a cool 77 just the right temperature for thinking about better times, cooler ones. No matter what the weather does the farm keeps going. It has a life all of its own and sometimes I have to run to keep up with it. There could be four feet of snow on the ground or soaring triple digit temps and the farm doesn't stop. Its really amazing and very comforting to know. The truth of the matter is I stop or at least I want to some days. But the farm and its humans have to work together, there is a synergy between us and when that synergy is working its marvelous. All I have to do is show up. Make sure food and water gets to the right places and that I pay acute attention to my surroundings.

You cant sleep walk through farming. You can be creative and artistic, a thinker and a dreamer but you can not be a sleeper. And auto pilot isn't an option, that's when things can go desperately wrong. You see something strange with an animal you have to investigate and deal immediately or the next time you see that animal it might be dead. Things happen fast. There is no "I'll get to it later". You see a blister beetle in the chard seedlings, do nothing and tomorrow there are no chard seedlings. There is no start and no finish. Surrendering to this is where the joy lives. and when I can learn how to do this I think I'll be a much better farmer.

What I struggle with the most and I have improved tremendously in this area, is surrendering too the fact that having routine doesn't work on this farm. I'm like the goats I love routine I love to know that everything is the same everyday. Okay that is just impossible, period. We milk at the same time, feed at the same time show up to the farmers market at the same day and time but that's it that's the most I can get for routine. Every day presents different needs and experience. Planning is futile. I tried to schedule my day my week and never does it roll out the way I have planned. Either the weather doesn't cooperate, or an animal needs attention or what have you.

The funny thing is I do have a plan. Goals, a clear idea of what I do, what I want to do and what I've done, and sometimes I'm surprised that I'm actually right on track. My dream is to have a diversified farm that can feed 100 +families 75% of their diet. I'm not even close to being there but I'm moving swiftly in that direction. I've put the dream into motion. and I've stayed steadily on track. Sometimes I have to work really hard at it and other times things just all into place.

The other day we were offered the opportunity to buy a small herd of cows from a friend. I wouldn't have got out looking for cows right now but beef is part of the equation and what a great opportunity to get some hands on experience with a small gentile herd. I also order 100 Barred Rock chicks to be delivered next week so we have more eggs for our CSA members in December, when our current flock will slow down substantially in egg production. things just keep moving forward with ease in spite if conditions.

No comments: