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March 24, 2016
Wild Goose Party
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Photo used with permission from Microsoft.
If you notice dark circles around the Farmer’s eyes these days, or his Wife’s, I can tell you why.
Many urban-dwellers grow accustomed to night time noises, such as sirens, people yelling and traffic. Here in the country, sleep time is usually more serene. Crickets, the hoot of an owl or a yap of a coyote become akin to a sleep machine for us. But lately, there’s been a racket that permeates the dreams of even the soundest sleeper. Across the street from us lies a lovely small pond. It’s fresh waters attract all sorts of wild-life. We’ve seen migrating osprey dive at blinding speed to it’s surface and snatch up dinner. Kingfishers perch on the telephone wires that stretch across the field there, keeping a constant watch on potential opportunities for food. Deer pause to drink. It’s all very picturesque.
Then the waterfowl return to nest, notably the Canada goose. Most of the time, they spend daylight hours honking their courtship messages at each other. Most birds, owls and mockingbirds excepted, are instantly asleep when the sun goes down. You can walk right up and pluck one from it’s nest, as long as its dark. Inspired, or fooled, by the moony-ful brilliance however, these rambunctious geese start to party.
Last night as I lay in bed, eyes wide open, listening to their racket, I gazed outside. Indeed I could see every detail of the barn and grounds, not quite as bright as day, but clear enough that I could imagine the geese decided to waste no time. Honking and splashing, there could've been a thousand of them for all the noise they made. At dawn this morning, the usual time for birdsong, the pond was silent. The partiers had either completely worn themselves out, or they had finally accomplished their mission. As proof, we soon will see them proudly swimming in circles around the little pond, followed by a trail of fuzzy, lemon-gray little darlings. And that makes the lost sleep all worth while!
Spring is truly here. The birds and beasts know it and so does the Farmer. Our tractors are in full use already, whereas last year at this time they were snowed in, or close to it. We guess you are starting to fantasize about tender young fresh things (vegetables, that is, not goslings) on your plates. We have plenty of space in both our Spring Share and Main Season, so please keep spouting good things to your friends and relations! I also want to say a personal "thank you!" to Dish Works for their recent blog post, "Weekly Pick: A Farm Blog with Character,
" featuring Notes from the Farmer's Wife! Nice to get a little encouragement to keep at it! And thanks to all of you who take the time to read these notes...its nice to know someone is out there!
December 29, 2014
Into the Light
A Note from the Farmer
We are passing through the darkest days of the year, a time that for many is difficult and trying. The short days, the grey skies and the cold can bring people’s spirits to a low ebb. And yet the hope of the coming year swells around us.
It starts with a few extra minutes of light each day, a promise of things to come. Shortly, despite January snow and ice, the change will begin to be apparent, the sun higher and stronger and the earth beginning to awaken. This from what is of course just a dozing sleep rather than a deep slumber, for even now in the depths of the dark days, we can hear bird song and catch the scent of earth in the air. Life is moving, working, sustaining us even in this time of rest.
Here at the farm our lives mirror this process. As we find time for rest and family during these grey days of winter, we already turn our faces to the coming season. We do, because we must. Preparation for spring planting already demands our attention. Cleaning and organizing tools, ordering and restocking supplies, planning and researching new strategies, a lengthy ‘to do’ list requires our attention throughout the short weeks before greenhouse heaters are turned on and the planting begins again.
Not only necessity inspires us to persist. The continuity builds strength. We rest, but we also keep going, like the biological processes on the farm itself, slowed but continuous. We have time to reflect, but we don’t lose ourselves in reflection. We have time to plan and dream, but we remember the needs of the present. It is a persistence born of the knowledge that spring is coming, with its renewal, its demands and its opportunity. This time of rest is also a time of preparation and of readiness. January will roll into February and March, and the sun will begin to loosen winter’s grip. The day will come, some years sooner, some years later, when a handful of earth crumbles between the fingers, no longer sticky mud, letting us know it is time to plow. We will be ready, with tools cleaned, plans made and energy renewed.
We wish you peace and strength as we all pass into this new year. May the promise of spring sustain you, keeping the hearth embers aglow in the assurance that the sun’s warmth and light will return, as it always has.