Farming Seasons

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As I look out the windows and I write this, it is cold and clear.  Outside one window shows soft blue sky and a sweet blanket of white clouds, the other window shows the remaining sunrise rays lighting up the church steeple yonder and glistening the snow.  And it is snowing.  The snow is falling directly over my house.  The weather doesn’t even know what season it is!

In the city, when the children were little, our seasons were based around holidays.  It is Halloween time, or Christmas time, or Easter time.  It is Valentine’s Day time or vacation time (one of my favorite seasons!).  Now that the children are older, we still love holidays but our mini-farm has placed us into rhythms and seasons we did not experience before.  They are a bit more extreme gliding from one season to another.

At the end of the farmer’s market season, after all the canning, garden clean up, running to and fro, I was ready for rest.  I could not take one more second of hot weather, not one more jar to can, or one more thing to do!  Winter is a time for rest.  I envisioned myself sitting in front of the wood stove (that I still don’t have!) calmly knitting, or crocheting, or spinning, at peace with a book, sipping hot, sweet tea.  I envision that every year.  By now though, I am bored to tears and desperately keeping myself from running outdoors in a fit of extreme mania and planting the pumpkin seeds in the snow!  It helps that our granddaughter will be joining the world next month, it has given me more winter projects.  In the next few weeks I will finish crocheting her blanket and finish making her baby quilt with her little name embroidered on it.  I have been having fun making aprons for folks and I am learning, slow but sure, how to spin yarn.  (It almost looks like yarn!)  I am planning, dreaming, writing, and well aware that I will be desperate for this time next year come the end of a hot August.  Even nature is resting.  Gentle breaths and hums come from the quiet trees and everything waits and rests for the first signals of spring.

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Spring is lovely.  I do adore the bulbs that come up.  No other flower is as sunny as a daffodil and ever so welcomed.  Overnight leaves burst forth in quiet merriment and flowers appear on the fruit trees.  Tis the season for excitement, yet confusion.  Cold and snowy, bright and sunny, when to plant, when to go back inside and rest.  But the renewal takes place in us as well and we are refreshed and waiting for summer.  Nothing feels as good as the first really warm day where one can actually feel the cold leaving their bones and their mood improving.  The new chicks and bees will arrive as well as the baby so our spring will be full of nurturing and fun.

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Summer comes early as we tend to the garden, planting with elaborate, exaggerated visions of glorious jungles of vegetables, humming bees happily dancing in the sun, flowers overflowing the front yard, and (say it with me now…) no drought!  The first farmer’s markets are a buzz of activity.  Summer is the time for farm commerce and days spent visiting with customers and seeping up vitamin D to store and very hard work.  Every Tuesday is canning day and the kitchen acts as a sauna.  I put my hair up and prepare at least two vegetables for the winter.  The heat in the house is unbearable and it keeps the family out so that I can work.  I feel like it is a spa day and rather enjoy it.  I may look into an outdoor kitchen this year, however, it does get to be a bit much!  Nancy’s and my new business, the 2 Farmgirls, will be busy and we’ll be making products and working markets as well as our other summer and work duties and will have the time of our life promoting farm life.

k5511046 (not my farm, but I sure wish it were!)

Before we can catch our breath it will be Autumn, my favorite.  Cooler market days, raucous color, warming foods, still plenty of nice weather, final countdown to winter as we act as squirrels putting everything up.  The excitement of upcoming holidays.  I will have started school again and will be begging for days in front of the fire doing homework and spinning yarn.  Or just taking in a nice glass of wine.

But this year, I am going to take more time to enjoy each season.  Revel in its entirety.  Sit, ponder, breathe.

The seasons on a farm are rich.  Embrace each season and enjoy.  What is your favorite season?

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