Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Equinox

Oestara, a time for new beginnings. This is a big theme for us at the farm this year. For the last few years, I have been telling myself, and others who would listen, that I had a plan to have the farm as our primary source of income in 5 to 7 years. Looking at vegetable production, numbers of fruit trees we were planting, when things would start to come into bearing and balancing that potential against the things we need, new equipment, new facilities, bills that need paying etc. Each spring, we have goals for what we thought we could accomplish and how far along it would move us toward becoming full time farmers.

Each spring it all seems in reach, it seems like the plan in front of us will move us at least a certain distance. Then my paycheck job inevitably reared it head with a new crisis, a new demand. The time I needed to be out weeding vegetables got swallowed by a database upgrade gone awry. Getting spray on to apple trees lost out to inventing some new program on an unrealistically short deadline. Well, this year will be different. For those who don't know, the paycheck job needed to reduce some positions to support budgets, and the two paths that were available were to take on additional responsibilities, additional personnel and additional hours or to become a reduction. My position had become increasingly adamant that 70+ hours a week was more than I could, or would do. People were listening and I was offered option 2.

While this has been a shock to the system, and was relatively unexpected, we are looking on the bright side. I am taking a few weeks of recuperation and focusing on being a temporary full-time farmer. Planting apple trees and raspberries, getting in a good batch of veggies. Catching by breath. While it would be nice to take the whole summer off, that isn't practical at this point. I have taken a vow that I hope to be able to keep to find a job that will be more compatible with the farm. Something that I can telecommute. Something with flexible hours, something that will be happy with 40 or so hours a week.

In the mean time, I am planting, planning, evaluating. Making new commitments to myself, to my family, to our farm. I have taken the time in the evenings to listen to woodcock in the field. I have walked the farm and seen where the crocus are coming up, seen the early tiny little wildflowers, breathed in the air. I am letting myself soak up the belief that the farm is the right path for me, and I am growing the determination to make it a reality. I am becoming reborn.

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