7May2011

Renewal: Spring, Soul and Friendships

They say Spring is a time of renewal – but for us this year, Spring has been a time of uncertainty, potential destruction, intense stress, followed by a welcome lifting of our spirits, and renewing friendships.

We have been under flood watch, warning, realization and inundation for a long time.  We have had no chance to prepare our fields this spring, due to standing water – at times 3 feet deep.  We have simply been waiting, hoping, worrying, and trying to ignore the constant rain, the flooding river and lake (record-breaking levels!), and the daily extrication of vehicles from the mud.  We are essentially 4-6 weeks behind schedule with the direct seeding on our farm, and hate the idea of not having food for people as soon as we usually do.  Okay, whining complete.

The only thing keeping us sane these days has been the constant greenhouse work – making sure that we have plants to transplant as soon as we can get into our fields, AND filling our orders for plant starts for Gardener’s Supply Company, AND, making sure we have high quality plants for selling to gardeners at farmers’ market!  We’ve been in the greenhouse day in and day out all spring, culminating in the last push late last night before loading plants into our truck and heading to bed to get some sleep before the first outdoor Burlington Farmers’ Market of the season.

When the sunlight streamed through our window this morning (for what seems like the first time in months!), we literally bounded from bed, got dressed, and happily headed to market.  It was like riding a bicycle; setting up our farmstand in our usual place, opening our umbrella, hanging our sign, and running to get morning coffee & breakfast.  I took my usual market morning post, weighing out and bagging up microgreens, while Spencer expertly and artfully set up our farmstand with his usual flair.  What really felt right was when our stream of dedicated customers and friends started coming by the stand to greet us and catch up on the time since we’d last seen each other.  Now THAT was like vitamins for the soul; the easy camaraderie of old friends sharing the glorious first sunshiney Saturday of market – it felt celebratory on so many levels, and did so much good for our hearts.  Knowing that we have fierce supporters of our farm reminds me why we do what we do, and gives me strength, enthusiasm and an eagerness to move forward with my season that I haven’t felt in a while.  Thank you, friends – I cannot wait to grow you some incredible food this season!  This week, with the dry, warm forecast, I feel like we are going to be like beasts unleashed from the depths of winter – rising to greet the Spring with an abundance of focused energy accomplishing all that could not be done in the cold and damp.  Breathe in deeply.  Exhale.  We are back!

One Response

  1. annabel says:

    Mara and Spencer,

    Congrats on a successful first market (hard to believe B’ton is already having markets! Your plants look amazing! Here in Cleveland, we are also enduring a soggy, cold spring, but 3 consecutive days of (mostly) sunshine have farmers in a giddy mood. Good luck with your season and thanks for sharing….may have to adopt that simple signage idea. Is that a popsicle stick?

    Annabel and Eric
    Bay Branch Farm

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