This April has brought mostly a long list of things to do out on the farm, with crappy weather to complete them in. I know its ‘spring’ and with spring comes the most unpredictable weather…but c’mon! Has it not been colder and windier and snowier than usual? Part of me hopes that this is the case so I don’t have to learn to deal with it…forever.But we all know that the weather is usually like this around this time of year, albeit possibly a bit warmer than this.
I must say in the past few weeks I have become very zen about the weather. I arm myself with layers upon layers with water proof on top and head out into the 30-40 mph winds. What else is there to do really? My friend Janelle came out on Friday and helped plant Kale and put them under a protective quickhoop. She brought some much needed positive energy and assistance! She hopes to come more regularly once finals are done.
We have most of the spring beds planted! All that is left are beets, more head lettuce, basil, fennel, parsley and lots of tomatoes and flowers. So maybe half the field is planted rather than most of it. I just heard its supposed to snow 3-5″ tonight, so I hope that snow won’t adversely affect my baby spinach and carrots that have been planted for a while. We shall see–its all about trying new things and seeing what happens (aka letting go)!
McLennan Gardens is opening in less than 2 weeks in Manchester. We’ll be able to sell produce there and drop it off. It will be a great compliment to our weekly Plymouth markets (starting May 14) because we don’t actually have to stand there and sell stuff in Manchester. I hope to connect with more neighbors through selling more locally. We are also selling at Zingermans Mail Order, where I work a few days a week. Several co-workers have requested fresh produce.
Yesterday in the crazy, blustery winds and rain, a neighbor that we’ve never met stopped by. He is a gardener. I gave him the grand tour and we talked season extension. I hope this happens more and more as the weather improves. I hope to learn more about this area, the culture, the people, the weather…tips and tricks, etc from folks who have been here for a while. Most importantly, building a sense of community in this place where people live so far from one another.
The ultimate form of letting go–dealing with death. I’ve finally had to bite the bullet and kill a mouse. Its kind of a big deal for me, having been a vegetarian since the age of 12. Andrew stood next to me as I emptied my first mouse trap (they were eating transplants in the greenhouse). After that first difficult time, I have buried coutless mice in the compost pile and actually feel kind of tough. Forget the fact that I cried and wined the first time. Its now a battle of survival–they can eat all they want as long as it doesn’t ruin our crop completely! I’ve also let go of the transplants that have fed countless field mice around the farm and started more to replace them.
My farming mentor, Ricky Baruc of Seeds of Solidarity in MA was committed to spiritual development in farm life. He had a quote painted on one of the sheds that read ‘”The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” Masanobu Fukuoka. I am now just beginning to internalize the meaning of this as we continue to get to know this land, the animals, and the people around us.