May 13, 2020

A Season of Change

A Season of Change

Farm News

There is no denying that nothing is the same. Each week, we wonder how much will change next week, and in the back of my mind, a breeze gently begs the question, “Will it ever return to normal?” This is what I am escaping from as I leave the desk, my inventory, my crop plans, my fulfillment challenges behind to exercise my heart. It is hard to start the run, but it doesn’t take long for me to remember that I am healthy and happy to be using my heart—this small act gives it the love it needs to keep me strong.
A slight breeze started this week. It was welcome because the days were hot enough for it blow away the heat, but I was wrong, it wasn’t that kind of breeze. This breeze was the reminder that the seasons are changing, it was a breeze that later grew into a powerful wind. Every season of every year of my life on this farm has had this wind, the wind that blows out the current season leaving room for the next to settle. As I crumpled along, pondering this routine of the seasons, I was stopped by the rustle of bushes by the creek. From the sound, a blue heron exploded into flight not ten feet away. The wind is the best mask from which to stumble onto wildlife. In the same bushes, a bright yellow dot caught my eye, so bright, pulsing yellow with color, so much so that I couldn’t understand what it could even be. Then the details around the color came into focus, the beak, the feet, the black eyes of an Oriole. I am not a birder, so I have no idea where this guy came from or where he is going, but I know this farm well enough to know that like the breeze brings the new season, these birds make this farm home for a piece of the year.

With all the disruption in our routine, I found comfort in the predictability of the season on the farm. This breeze, that bird, the tomatoes ready for their first stakes, the first cutting of alfalfa sitting in huge blocks, the second set of weeds starting in the field where my cover crops have just been disked it, the list goes on. I am by the pumping station now, I can hear the motor whirling, and on the ground, running along the road, is an eight inch aluminum pipe—an above-ground river moving water from here to the crops. At this spot, my memory is jogged of a huge gopher snake I saw here many years ago. Fat, bright brown in color, stretched fully across the road, holding perfectly still with hopes that I would not see him. I look around for him, but he isn’t there. He hasn’t been there since the one time but every time I cross this spot I remember.

This change will come to an end or at least come to a place where life is normal again. When that happens, I hope that our farm and our farm box on your doorstep have earned a permanent spot in your lives. Like the exercise I give my heart five times a week, our local food system needs to be kept in shape, too. Buying your food locally builds a robust food system that will care for you always, but in order for it to do that you need to exercise it.