Friday, November 4, 2011

wind, frost, sun and rain

It was Wednesday that we were all pretty certain we would wake up to a freeze or a heavy frost Friday morning. So preparations were made. Numerous rows of cold and frost hearty crops were hoe'd and lined with wire hoops all ready for the crop cover, (this is a fabric that is placed over the rows and protects the leaves from frost damage and in some cases freezing all together). A pretty simple task, one I've done many times. But this time there was a problem. The wind. We were getting gusts up to 35mph. This made the task impossible. So Wednesday passed and then Thursday came and it was still extremely windy. I would have to suck it up and struggle through it.

I finished what I could by around 6pm, sick and tired of the wind. Something no matter how long I've lived here I don't think I will ever come to embrace. I secured the fabric down with loose soil and bricks and said goodnight. This morning sure enough a white sea of frost blanketed the field and pasture. But I felt fine, no panic, no worry. That's a great feeling. As I look out into the field I am so proud of how much I have learned over the years. Mostly by mistakes I might add but I have really learned a lot. My turnips and beats are beautiful my spinach has never been bigger and the greens just keep getting bigger and greener. This is my best growing season ever. and its only because I just keep at it. I'm only able to keep at it because I have the faith and support of my CSA members. They have basically paid for my education. Its days like this when I know I have a huge harvest in front of me that I get teary eyed filled with such gratitude for having had such fortune and grace in my life.

This season I feel like I've passed a milestone. Looking out seeing my best harvest ever I'm given a sense of confidence that I've never had before. This time I'm aware of mistakes that I've made before and I acknowledge the things I'm getting right. Somethings I do know I have no control over and that's just fine, but as a farmer I have begun to finally define what I have control over and what I don't and that has taken me a long hard slow seven years to finally figure out. In my case I do have control over my crops when it comes to a frost of freeze, I don't have control over the effects of hail. I do have control over soil nutrients, I don't have control over floods. There are legitimate things to fret about and some times I just have to wait out the storm. Even if its standing at the window for an hour watching my future. But clearly defining my roll has been a great help to me.

As a new year quickly approaches I have for the first time felt a sense of confidence and security. I know I cant do everything I want to, that I'm going to have to choose and capitalize on my strengths and let go of things that stretch me too far. I'm not sure what that means quite yet. I know I'm going to make mistakes and I know I have so much more learning to do, But I have a sense that something great is just around the corner because something great is happening right now.  Wind, frost, sun and rain, it keeps coming and I get to be right in the middle of it.

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