Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Diary of a Farmer

Yesterday was a breathtakingly gorgeous fall day - sunny and warm, with a morning temperature in the mid-40s and a high in the lower 70s. After breakfast, I spent the morning cleaning out the barn stalls. It had been several weeks, so there was quite a hay/straw/poo build-up. Thankfully, we were wise enough to do a complete concrete foundation when we built our barn, so even at its most messy, it's a simple matter of scraping everything up and allowing the concrete to dry for a bit. The sun's rays finally reached our house about 9 am, and you could tell it was going to be a beautiful day. I love where our property is situated, and how each morning begins: the first rays of the sun begin in the early morning hours, barely poking up over the eastern mountains and hitting the tip of the large peak due west. The sunlight slowly filters down the western mountain until it hits the meadow in the valley below, finally making its way to our land.
It's surprising to get such a spell of clear, warm weather this late in fall, but I'm not asking questions, and merely enjoying Mother Nature's gift. After I finished cleaning out the barn and setting Solomon the bunny in his outdoor rabbit run, I began digging up the last of the sweet potatoes. Though the vines haven't technically died back yet from frost, the plants are more than ready to give up their bounty. Some of the sweet potato tubers I dug up were as big as my forearm (and about as thick!!). They are currently curing on a tray in the herb room. In a little bit, I will cook them up into a huge batch of maple-glazed sweet potatoes!
The rest of the day was spent in the usual farm chore insanity. I finally found a quiet moment around dusk to wander my herb garden. The poor garden looks sad now that the plants are dying back for the year and everything has been harvested. Still, it's soothing to me to wander around the garden in the evenings and take stock. I harvested a few more calendula seeds, another few twigs of Blue Vervain and Evening Primrose that had gone to seed, and began pulling the last of the Scarlet Runner & Kentucky Wonder pole beans. As I stood there in the quiet dusk picking bean pod after bean pod, I took a moment to appreciate the view. They have been doing what appears to be some controlled burning on the mountains west of us, and the smoke had traveled down the mountains, resting in pockets of haze here and there. It rather reminded me of mist. Though the sun had gone down over the western mountain, it was still bright, and with the smoky "mist" enshrouding parts of the valley and mountain, it was all very beautiful. I finally understood how a land can get into your blood, and why some men will die for the right to live on it. I suppose as a farmer I am more blessed than others: I get the opportunity to work the land every day, to partake of the beautiful view in the quiet evenings. Instead of metal skyscrapers, I have Nature's mountains (the original skyscrapers!). Instead of roads, I have rivers.
Instead of heartache, I have blessings.

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