Weather Woes

slushYesterday I went out to the new farm on Cherry Street to meet with our landlord John and another guy named John who does work for him off and on, who will be building our parking lot and driveway and will dig us a well.  The sun felt amazingly warm on my back, and the plowed fields had snow melt brooks running down the furrows.  Standing at the top of a field we named “Big East” I caught a scent I’ve been missing; dirt.  Its not a smell you think about much in the summer, and you don’t necessarily notice when it disappears in November, but in the spring when you smell it again after a long absence, it brings a rush of memories of bird song, warmth, and green things.  It made me feel so eager to get into the fields with the disk, to get all that soil ready for little plants.  Of course its too wet and frozen for that, but still…

After meeting with the two guys, walking around the farm and talking plans, we headed back to our trucks parked on the road.  John and John talked  about the coming blizzard (both do lots of snow plowing), and I laughed about how strange it was to stand in the warm spring sun, knowing that tomorrow would feel like January again.

After saying “seeya” to the two Johns, I headed over to the barn where I have everything stored tofert spreader check out our new fertilizer spreader that Josh scored at an auction last weekend.  Everything was stacked neatly along one wall, just waiting to be used… all the irrigation, soon to swell with water, the row cover to protect plants from invading critters, the new spreader to fling nutrients in an arc onto our fields.  The warm sun filled me with energy, and it was frustrating to see everything that makes our farm function sitting idle and waiting along the wall.  If all these tools were alive, I know they would feel as impatient as I do to get to work.  It was hard to believe that today would look the way it does…

After going to the barn I went and checked on our garlic field.  I parked on the road and waded through the slush out to the acre of garlic.  The snow had receded to lines across the soil, the hilled furrows emerging black between them.  We planted the garlic in the last warm days of November, hilling the soil deep to keep the garlic protected through the winter.  When it gets warm for real, they will send up their green spikes, one of the first signs of the busy farming season.  I was glad to see everything was looking ok… no erosion washing away the white cloves under the soil.

garlic field 2

I drove home, enjoying the fresh air through the open window.  There’s a saying where I grew up… “You know its spring in Vermont when people are driving around with their windows open and their heat on.”

kitchen windowIf yesterday was a step forward, today feels like about eight steps back.  The radio keeps me updated on all the accidents on the road, the lowered visibility from the blowing snow, and how many feet to expect.  I can imagine John and John out there plowing and salting like mad, trying to keep up with the blizzard.  The garbage men haven’t picked up the recycling yet, and I don’t blame them; the wind has blown drifts across the porch and all along the street, which is empty except for cold dog walkers shivering down the sidewalk, their dogs hopping through the chest deep snow.  The world is reminding me “you are at the weather’s mercy.  Mother nature is bigger than you and your plans, and you have to work with her.”  So all I can do is refine the plan, so that once its spring for real, we can hit the ground running.  I gaze out the kitchen window at the winter wonderland outside.  Patience is a virtue.


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