The Red Wheel Barrow
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
I first read this poem by William Carlos Williams in 10th grade in Mrs. Ludwig’s English class at Manual High School in inner-city Denver, CO.
Back then, I liked it because it was so short, and I was sure that this was one poem that I could memorize! However, this week as I was seeding in the greenhouse, this poem came to me, unbidden and wouldn’t let go. Here I was, 19 years hence, FINALLY aware of the meaning of this poem! Alone, the seeds, the soil, the trays, the sticks that remind me what I planted, and yes, the red wheelbarrow I use to cart soil, all seem so inconsequential.
They’re essentially meaningless alone. Together, they mean everything to me. For it is on these tiny seeds that we pin all our hopes for the season. Every greenhouse season I am surprised at my own incredulity over the power of the potential energy stored up in a tiny dry seed that becomes a huge tomato plant that grows so massive it kicks us out of our hoop-house every September! What I think William Carlos Williams was saying in his poem was that these everyday items, the wheel barrow, the rain, the chickens, they don’t seem like they mean much, but to someone they do; and perhaps they mean everything in some sense to that someone. I am also reminded of people that visit any farm, and see farm implements that look ancient, rusted, and unused. Chances are that so much depends on the two-bottom plow seemingly rusting into the soil. I guarantee that a farmer has plans to hitch that sucker up and use it perhaps only once a season, but so much depends on that one use. Nice poem! I forsee myself reflecting on it often.
That said, finally we have the Half Pint Farm Food Club Brochure ready to go! First 15 respondees become the lucky members of our farm share for 2009! Read thoroughly before committing, then get ready for what we’re calling the “Summer of Taste!” Can’t wait to meet all of you!
Lastly, a head’s up – the first microgreens will be ready in one more week – YUM!
Some pictures of our week for your enjoyment:
The first beets up!
Spencer doing the first pass of disking. We have some winter-killed oats to turn in. Hopefully they’ll break down in a week or so. We refer to this process as “hitting the reset button”. Note the side-skirts up and hanging.
Side skirts hanging loosely as per the FEMA requirements. The temperature rose instantly after we got these up!
A nice view over the tops of our circus tents after getting one door up. Forgot to get a picture of the door, though. Will do that this week as we get that project finished.
A view of Half Pint Farm from the perspective of the tops of the Haygrove. Neat!
Lastly, what are we eating these days? Homemade pizza often – this week’s offering, pizza di quattro stagioni! One section with artichokes, one with anchovies and mozz, one with mushrooms and parsley, one with prosciutto and olives. The tomato sauce is made with our very own pineapple and gold medal tomato sauce from 2008. YUM! Buon appetito!
I leave you with my homage to WCW in poem entitled:
The Amaranth Seed
a white amaranth
sprouted with rain
beside the fuzzy