Winter seems almost like a distant memory. Supposedly, winter is a season of cozying down, learning everything there is to know about market farming in front of a fire with a warm cup of coffee, a time to plan out my so-called perfect and abundant farm over a glass of wine in the evenings. I would ski to my heart’s content; breathe in the calm of the off-season. Indeed winter is a distant memory. The only reminder of winter that remains is the white snow-capped mountains that frame this piece of property. The property that will envelop me into its undulations and tall grasses. The property that I will turn into a bearer of sustenance. The property that will swallow me… and my soul: the farm.
Winter went by in a blink. And no, I didn’t have enough time to get all of my farm preparations in order. That romantic vision of cold winter nights and coffee and wine? Well, at least the coffee and the wine happened. I worked hard, but there is never enough time. There is an eternal struggle to balance being both a strong, independent and ambitious woman pursuing her dream, and being a mom. It’s impossible. Gymnastics, school conferences, dinner, laundry, and chores don’t budge for farm planning.
That’s not to say I was a total failure, as I got a good start. I threw myself into books and courses and paper and pencils. I planned and researched the shit out of market farming. While the farm will most likely be smaller this first season than I had hoped, it will be full. It will be overwhelming. It will be challenging. And it will be extraordinary. Pressure is on… so, I’m jumping in with both feet, and of course my rough, aged hands.
On that note, there are a few things to mention regarding the structure of the farm.
First, I’m changing up the farm share program this year. Because it is my first season full time farming, I don’t want to promise my loyalists farm fresh food and then fall short (talk about a way to lose the loyalists). So, instead, I’d like for Farm Fridays to really take off this year. I will set up market-stand style fun at the farm each Friday through the season. Bring the family, buy some veggies and veggie starts, relax and explore the farm. Enjoy a beverage, and let the kids run rampant.
I’m also going to supply several restaurants in Park City with produce, and then hopefully, have a small farm stand in Silver Creek. Again, pressure is on.
In the end, however, I’m one person. Those littles of mine claim to want to help, and I will absolutely put them to work in an “I want you to love the farm” kind of way, not a “the first thing they will want to do when they leave home is run to the city and leave the farm life behind, because it was so terrible” kind of way. But I’m one person, and this endeavor is probably (actually) not doable on my own, and it never really has been. No matter how much I’d like to believe that my rough old lady farm hands can do it all, the truth is I need people. I need help. I’m really terrible at asking for it too, so this is a giant surrendering step for me.
So… I’m looking for volunteers. Committed volunteers to help manage my craziness, and to help plant, harvest, weed, and pack veggies. I will pay you in adoration and hyperbole, and of course, food. So, if you have dreamt of living the farm life, or even if you haven’t, and have a few hours or a day to give each week, please please help me (humility and mindfulness may just end up being this farmer’s best friend). Please?
And thus, now begins my 60 hour weeks, the return of dirt under my fingernails, watching the sunrises and sunsets from the fields, witnessing the tiniest seeds push up through the heavy soil and emerge as the perfect juxtaposition of strength and delicacy. I will be battling the pests, battling the heat, battling the wind, maybe even battling the snow, but most of all battling my self-doubt and my nerves. But I’m ready. I’m prepared. I’m all in.
My seed order has arrived, my tools have started trickling in, and the fields are drying out. I can see June staring me down. I have some more knowledge and experience in my back pocket, and a good solid sense of fear to keep me going. Now we move on to measuring fields, bed preparation, and planting seeds in the greenhouse. My back will be tired and sore, my shoulders will be sun-kissed, and my heart will be full.
See you on Fridays, my friends…