Today I realized that I have no idea what farmers do in the Winter. It is nearing, after all. The Autumnal Equinox is less than two weeks away.
So I asked Eli, "What do you DO in the winter??" She snickered. "Lots," she said. "Order seeds, plan for next year, build, repair, grow, make more medicine."
It seems that when most people think about farmers, they can only imagine them working in their fields, sweating in the heat of long summer days; images of tractors and hoes may come to mind. It's like when you were a kid and you thought teachers only existed in the context of the classroom. Well, contrary to popular belief, farmers do much more than bust their butts in the blazing July afternoon.
Farming is a full time, all year round, nonstop, open 24/7-even on holidays kind of
job life. It is packed full with schedules, plans, and deadlines. Mishaps occur, crops fail, and volunteers don't show up. All the while, there is work to be done and fun to be had. In February, seeds get started in the greenhouse. Soon new interns come to the farm, the CSA/CSM orders start, weeds take over. We sow, harvest, and weed, weed, weed. There IS a lot of sweat involved. When September rolls around, there is still plenty going on at the farm. Today's medicine-making session was the second to last of the season and it feels just as busy as it did in the peak of the growing season.
It also continues to be joyful and fulfilling. Yes, we get a workout pushing tillers and building trellises, but we also get to play with babies, share lunch time every day, and put our love into our products. Oh, and there's nothing like the sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes from sowing seeds in the Spring, harvesting and making medicine from the plants in the Summer, and using their medicine to heal and protect your body throughout the year.
Autumn is just around the corner and soon after that will come the brisk chill of Winter. Seeds will be ordered, plans will be made, and we'll continue to make medicine, laugh, talk, and eat lunch together. Ahhhhh, such is the sweet circle of life at the Farmacy.