Friday, April 17, 2009

Thoughts on the end of a first week of farming

We continued with potatoes for some time today, after doing the morning rounds at the greenhouse. We finished up planting the storage potatoes and then started putting some red-skinned variety into the ground. Sorry, I plan to be better about giving out specifics of variety and such but I didn’t ask and I don’t have my crop plan by my side at the moment. I’m in bed, mostly horizontal, tired and sick and I’m not getting up to get it.

Today was our warmest day yet, with full sun most of the day; t-shirt weather really. I am really going to have to watch out for how the elements treat my skin over the coming months. I have this vision of being up here in the country (sort of), close to the ocean and nice hiking, swimming, etc, and doing endless outdoor activities on my weekends. But I can also see enjoying having a couple-day reprieve from the sun and wind! We’ll see how it all works out.

We had a couple of other modest tasks today; Jamie and I took a look at the wash station to try and figure out an easy, efficient system to get water to the two big tubs and then went to a plumbing supply store to get a few fittings. Jamie likes to solicit ideas and input for systems like this, and it feels good to brainstorm with he and the others, though I’m sure he has a much better understanding than I do of what needs to happen and what might work and what might not.

We finished up the day in a bed of chard, putting up thin metal hoops every 15 feet or so over the 5 foot wide beds and then covering the entire bed with row cover material (a lightweight, white, thin synthetic material that lets a lot of light through but conserves moisture and heat). This should help us get the young plants growing more quickly, especially at this early stage during the season of less sun and colder weather. It would be nice if we have as much variety of produce available as possible when the shareholders begin to pick up at the beginning of June.

Thus ended my first week on the farm. I am tired! Good tired, mostly, though as I’ve mentioned I’ve still got my cold and am ready to be done with it. So far the work has been manageable, varied and the days not very long. Reasonably hard work though. It’s definitely going to get tougher.

At this point, I do feel that what I’ve been saying and hoping for over a month now is coming true, that given the devastating, wrenching lost of my sister Esme in early March, I can’t really imagine another way to spend my time that would offer me more in the way of healing my heart and helping me to go on. This, growing good, healthy food in a thoughtful, sustainable manner, being outside in a beautiful place, engaging in varied tasks of physical and mental challenge, learning new things, interesting things, about the world, about plants and animals, about people and about myself, getting to know new friends who share some of these same interests, spending time again in a shared community, a shared household after living on my own for years…It’s only been 5 days, I’m tired and sick, I am anxious about what I will do with myself in the future, I am constantly heartsick, missing my sister desperately and having grave problems coming to terms with a state of the world and of our culture that I see as terribly out of balance, dangerous and ill…but I am happy to be doing what I am now doing.

May all beings find peace and joy in their lives. Love to all.

1 comment:

dldeprez said...

Somehow I want to know your pain so that perhaps in such empathy I can relieve you of some of it. I have a kind of Esme Show of edited photos Nikki let the Internet community have. I play Liz Carroll's The Ornery Upright/Sass is Back from Lake Effect as backdrop to Esme's life from infancy to 2008. Then I play The Ghost/The Hatchlings/The Long Bow for those photos of 2008-2009. The powerful emotions this evokes is to say that Esme's legacy to touch the lives of others makes a little more meaningful the inexplicable nature of her loss. My heart goes out to you, Brian, and to the rest of your family. May planting and soil (my favorite course in school as a forestry major) heal you.