The weather is starting to feel more and more like Autumn is going to be in here in a few weeks. The long summer days are drawing to a close, with kids back in school and the evening light getting shorter and shorter and the early mornings darker and darker the inevitable is happening. The changing of Summer to Fall. From hot to cool. The solstice to equinox change that brings so much with it.
For the farm it means things are drawing to a close. Nothing ever completely shuts down on our farm because we have animals here year round. But a majority of chores and extra long days are cut out almost completely.
Farmers switch into a different gear in Winter. It’s obviously less physical a lot of the time, but if you went completely slack you would not be able to start up in early Spring and be ready. The Winter is for those long farm projects that you have been putting off all Summer long. It’s for thinking and planning and researching. For scheming and running numbers and filing taxes. Figuring out what you did right and what you need to improve upon for next year.
But it’s also for sleeping in and catching up on sleep. It’s a time to enjoy the bounty of the harvest. To sit back and relax a little more. To spend time playing games and laughing and enjoying life. It’s balancing out the long Summer days where you’re only getting a few hours of sleep a night. It’s a change, a shift. I like it. It's a time to sit around the table eating and drinking, building community after a long growing season working together in the field.
I love it. I love the changing of seasons, it keeps me from getting stuck in one place for too long. Mentally or physically. It keeps me on my feet (sometimes literally!). It’s the moving dynamic that is so natural in nature where there is life. Life is always moving, never stagnant.
The growing season for me is drawing to a close and it’s really hard to believe. I definitely will not be able to really sit down and process the growing season and what I liked and didn’t like until late Autumn. I’ve got just over a month left on the farm before my 3 week leave. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. In the next four weeks we have 350 birds to process and freeze. Enterprises to wrap up and get ready for winter. I have to teach Joel how to do morning and evening chores and my weekly egg delivery.
We will put a hold on all our retail egg customers while I’m away—it’s just too much to try and train someone to do everything I do, so I’m just going to deliver to my wholesale accounts to make it the easiest for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to a long break. I haven’t had a long time off since Christmas. Short weekends or days off here and there are nice but if I am around the farm than I will always find work to do or chores that I’ll take responsibility for. It’s always nice to get away for an extended period of time and gain perspective, get a breath of fresh air away from work and home and see things differently.