Friday, January 10, 2014

the promise of winter

It might be winter outside, but inside my head, my farm is already flourishing. To be true, it's been that way since last summer, when I first started to plot out my idea for a preserving and storage crop farm. As I worked on my Headwaters application, before I even knew for sure that I would have any land, the farm took shape. I laid out my crops in rows, measured how many bed feet I would need to grow, chose varieties, estimated yields. By the time December rolled around, I knew I would have a place to farm, and I was ready to go. On January 1, I ordered my seeds. And then I got a little impatient to start growing.

Recently, my dad observed that the days were getting longer now, so winter must be over. He was kidding, of course, but it gave me pause. I know that I often think of winter as a time when everything is sleeping, when all growth comes to a halt, and the world holds its collective breath until warmer, sunnier days. But that's not really true. Already things are building toward their mad climax. Shrubs and trees are making buds even as I write this, soon to burst open into fragrant flowers. The garlic I planted in my garden last fall is going through its daily work of living, eating, breathing, rooting, growing. The bright spikes of green poking out from the straw and mud are hard evidence of that.

The world is not dead. It's not even sleeping. It is moving even now, slowly, without fanfare, and perhaps where you live, blanketed in many inches of snow. As I contemplate my future farm, and the customers I hope to meet and feed, I take heart from that thought. Very soon my days will be a flurry of work. For now, I am trying to appreciate the calm and keep moving slowly, thoughtfully, and with growing excitement towards my farm.

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