Friday, July 19, 2013

Needing a little luck, and finding it under a cabbage


Hiiiiiiiiiii, turkeys!  I hope everyone is hanging in there with this heat….our countdown to Saturday night (when the – let’s face it, sometime fickle - folks at Environment Canada do say the humidity and high temps are going to break) has been on since at least Monday!  I considered letting myself just melt into a puddle Wednesday afternoon square in the middle of the squash patch while rototilling, but then decided I better not, lest no one realize I had and not watered the chickens and turkeys in the evening, or thinned the cauliflower seedlings in the morning.  Livestock and veggies first, you know!

This is always the way it seems to go with the weather and farming: the grass is always greener on the other side, and/or be careful what you wish for.  For weeks in May all the market gardeners I know (myself included) were crossing every finger and toe for some heat and a bit of rain to get things growing.  Well, then the rains came in monsoon-esque fashion, and of course we redirected our collective hopes towards clear skies rather immediately.  And then they appeared…along with this searing heat.  If you think about it, the weather’s been rather amenable, just on a wonky schedule and with far more enthusiasm than required.

Increasing climate instability stresses me out to no end when I let myself think about it, but like many other elements of life, let alone vegetable growing, I think in the end it’s sometimes best if we just take a bit of a leap of faith ahead on a daily basis and keep on with the good work we’re trying to do, one task at a time, and trust that we can make something worthy of whatever comes.  Seed the carrots, mulch the tomatoes, plant the rutabaga; be kind, be patient, be grateful; hope for the best, but be ready to be adaptive and resilient and very clever either way. 

Still, this time of the year is so busy that I often spend a lot of time feeling completely flustered and teetering on the edge of overwhelmed-ness because of all the things needing attention.  I also start the serious obsessing about how the vegetables are coming along, how I’ll manage to keep up with timely planting and the weeding as the days get shorter (and I don’t have any beloved equines to help with the workload this year!), how the harvest logistics are going to work into the fall…basically, too many things on the go and a lot of worry about how to get it all done well! 

I was having a bit of a low moment last week pondering such things and some big decisions to be made as I was pulling lambs quarters out of the summer cabbage patch when I discovered a horse shoe.  Seriously people, not making this up!  I could not think of any garden find I’ve ever had that’s been so perfectly timed or fitting!  I absolutely could have broken down into a laughing, sobbing heap of a farmer right there…but chose instead to (keep weeding and) re-focus my thoughts instantaneously on how I am truly so, so fortunate to be doing what I love every day, for such amazing members….and just enjoy all the good and good luck that Fairmeadow’s fields have got going on.  Although this has been a challenging season on many fronts, there is some beautiful food coming along out there and I’m really excited for many of you to be eating it with me before too long!  And I am certain that this farm has the most supportive and lovely friends and members ever – so many of you have sent kind such kind words and encouragement and helping hands over the last days and weeks, and I can’t tell you how much it means.  Community support truly is at the heart of this, our, agriculture, and though it may get lost for a few busy hours here and there, it’s what grounds and drives everything on this small farm.  And who knows, maybe if I’m even more lucky (if that's possible), I’ll find a horse that’ll fit the shoe.  Cinderella styles! 

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