Oct 14, 2008

I'm a real farmer now

well she might'a took my car keys
but she forgot about my old John Deere

Yup, that's me this afternoon, straight out of a Vince Gill country music video, driving my tractor for the first time, out to the new compost pile with a trailer load of chicken-coop hay and poop and dead rat remains (judging from the puncture wounds, i'd say our cat is finally earning his keep.) Then pulling weeds and turning soil to prepare for tomorrow's full-moon naked midnight planting of the 40 garlic bulbs we bought from Gail 5 farms up the road. Each bulb can produce up to 6 new bulbs, so we may end up with 240 garlic bulbs next year as testimony to our overzealous first planting.

Yesterday we took the 3 neighbour kids plus ours up the road to the old schoolhouse, where i climbed and vigorously shook an apple tree, producing a hailstorm of organic apples upon the heads of 5 screaming delighted children. In one hour we filled up the 2-kid Chariot buggy. We've already washed them and cut out the previously-enjoyed bits (Sarah discovered 5 different types of bugs still enjoying them) and made a winter supply caramelized apple butter and apple sauce, and haven't even begun harvesting our own 5 trees.

At the farm up the other street, all of Armande's basil died in the heavy frost last week (these natural events now mean more to us than just an icy car to defrost), but we managed to buy the entire remaining basil supply from the produce store on the highway for the winter supply of pesto. The kindergarten teacher Katie brought us 4 bags of the heaviest, meatiest tomatoes in the valley, from which we've put away sauce, salsa and ketchup for the year.

It's not just the local seasonal foods - that's last year's excitement. It's the intimate connection to the growers, and our growing identity of being amongst them. And it's our connection to our own land. We've loved past houses and neighbourhoods, but never felt tied to or responsible to the land. Now we are regularly called outside, rain or shine, to be part of it and steward it, walking around in Joyful reverence, in wider and wider circles of knowing, quietly pledging to make the most of this time and place. To misquote Corduroy, "I think I've always wanted a home."

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