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March 7, 2015
A Farmer's Inspiration
A Note from the Farmer
Spring is here, or is it? As we watch yet another layer of white stuff deposited on our farm it feels almost silly to be gearing up for planting, yet that is exactly what we are doing. This snowy weather is just a short delay of the inevitable change that is at hand.
The sun’s strength increases by the day (when we get to see it). Every year in late February we get a sunny afternoon and I look up and feel the sun's warmth on my face and realize that it suddenly feels different. It's stronger. There may be snow and ice on the ground and the air may be 25 degrees but the sun feels warm. As the angle of the sun’s light changes, we, and the plants in the greenhouse, can feel it. Soon winter’s grip will slip away.
It takes only a day or two for the farm to transform. A couple sunny March afternoons in the 50s and the snow will be gone. Two more blustery days to dry the soil and it is time to plow. We can go from winter white to plowing up beautiful rich earth in less than a week.
A farmer who isn’t ready loses precious time. The soil is full of moisture after the long winter. Plow too early and the weight of tractor and plow pack the muddy earth, damaging its structure, destroying valuable air spaces. Wait too long and we may lose the benefit of that moisture as the increasing sun’s intensity slowly dries the earth. Working and planting that moist spring earth is key to the success of our early crops. The soil never turns better than soon after the first spring thaw. Crumbly, soft and sweet smelling. That beautiful earthy smell is full of vigor and potential for the farmer. Few things inspire him more.
So we go out to shovel the path one or two more times, knowing that the sun will return. It's strength builds and one day we walk outside to the signs of spring flooding us. Why wait? Look for them now. As sure as the whiteness all around us, the awakening of Spring is already here. Bird song, smells on the wind, the swelling buds and rays of the sun. Enjoy every moment, it will be hot summertime before you know it.