Monday, December 1, 2014

Still Our Favorite (Part Two)

Part Two of a two part post.  Part One is here.

After I started the post on this topic, I felt like I still had more to say.  If you have read this blog in the past, you'll realize I don't conform to most blog post length limits.  But, even so, the medium does not encourage posts that have too much length.  Even I succumb to the pressure of limiting content.  so - here we are with a part two!  Be thankful!  You get twice as much goodness for the price of one!

More things that give us cause to be thankful - with pictures from May to November.

 The very act of being farmers gives us a front row seat to the miracle of life.  If you don't think it is a miracle, then I challenge you to watch something grow from a seed to a full plant.

Tomato and basil plants - together even when they are in pots.
 And if that isn't good enough, hold a duckling in your hand for a little while.  Then, watch it swim in a tub of water.
Ok, that's cute.
 Or, you can try to identify all of the different shades of color in an iris flower.
I count 206....  Ok, I just made that up.
Now, tell me there aren't miracles.  These qualify in my book.
Having Courage
If you know something about our backgrounds and how this farm started, you will appreciate this one a bit more.    Our first two years of growing saw the number of CSA members sitting in the mid-twenties.  We are now at 120 during the regular season and we had 35 for the Fall extension.  Our business plan called for no farm debt and year by year review, with a decision each year as to whether we would return each season.

Rosie the Courageous
It might be fair to say that we finally admitted that the farm would be Rob's full-time job for the foreseeable future in 2010.  Prior to that, we always had an eye on the exit strategy.  It takes courage to stay in the "deep end."  But, the water is fine and this is what we are supposed to be doing.

Doing What We Can to Meet Ideals
I've heard several people advocate that a business cannot afford to have ideals.  After all, the business does need to make some money.  We take exception to that.  We have always believed that a business is also an opportunity to exercise one's ideals for our own good, for the good of the business and for the good of those the business touches.  
Solar power on a small scale
There are a number of things we would love to do that we simply are unable to do, but there is much that we can do.  We commit ourselves to a diverse farmscape and we commit ourselves to growing things in ways that are sustainable.  Sometimes, this means that our financial returns will be more modest than they could be.  But, when all is said and done, we are thankful for the opportunity to do the 'right thing' - whatever that may be.  We are also grateful for the chance to learn and to amend our beliefs when it is called for.  It's an intangible asset that we value greatly.

Great Food
Tammy has always been very good at baking and cooking.  But, raising food on the farm has expanded both of our horizons.

Peach Pie.... a great summer treat.
I will say this - I still think one of my favorite foods is a pot of freshly picked green beans with a little melted butter.

Opportunities to Facilitate Learning
Our farm gives us many chances to help others learn and experience something different.  We're pleased that we have had numerous opportunities to plant a seed about sustainable food practices in the minds of many people. 

That's one cool mural.
And an Opportunity to See the Humor in All Things
The farm gives us many opportunities to see the ridiculous and enjoy the humor.

Um... you missed a spot.
It's often easier when things are going well, but the ability to see some humor when things are difficult is a valuable gift.

The photo bomber attacks!
The Opportunity for a Great Crop
Just often enough, we end up with a really great crop of something.  This year, our garlic did us proud.

Garlic curing in the truck barn.
 And, even when the volume is not top notch, we still get some great tasting results.  Just ask anyone who has worked at GFF in August.  The sandwiches for lunch are absolutely amazing.  Anytime you can pick from three or four different heirloom tomatoes, a few heirloom peppers and a couple of kinds of heirloom lettuce....  Well, let's just say it's a satisfying experience.

Now, that's a selection of tomatoes to taste!
We are both grateful for things that work, work well and work consistently.  Fore example, Clyde, our Honda Civic, crossed the 200,000 mile mark this Summer.

Hurray for Clyde!
Doing Things You Didn't Have to Do
And, finally, we are grateful for the times in life where we are either the giver or recipient of an act that didn't HAVE to be taken, but SHOULD be taken.  We all live busy lives and it is often very difficult to take that moment (or more than a moment) and do what you know probably should happen.  And, sometimes, it isn't that big of a thing.  No one will be harmed if action is not taken, but it would be nice if you did.

A tasty fungi!
We had someone stop at our farm and inform us that we had a nice edible mushroom in our front yard under our oak trees.  In September, that area is rarely frequented by us, so we would not have noticed.  A person who lives in our area, pulled over, walked up to us as we worked with our ducks and informed us that we had this Hen in the Woods mushroom available to us.  He didn't have to do this, yet he did.  If we had known how big this thing was, we would have happily given him half.  If we see him and a mushroom next year, we'll gladly share.

A face of gratitude
A very thin and ill kitten made an appearance at our farm.  We didn't really have the time to deal with it and it was so frail and weak that we were even wondering if the best thing to do would be to give it its final release.  Instead, we took the time to get it to the vet, give it medications and make sure it had food, water and shelter.  She turned out to be a sweetie who clearly had been raised indoors initially.  So, we worked to find her a home. It might have been easier to not coax her out of hiding.  It definitely would have been easier to euthanize her with the knowledge that she was not far from death at the time we found her.  But, it was far better to make an effort to give this young feline a shot at a good life.

We are thankful for the strength and willpower to be courageous, to maintain our ideals and and to strive to determine what is the closest thing to 'right' that we can do - and then do it.  And, during the times when the strength and willpower fails us, or we fail to identify the 'right' thing, we are thankful for forgiveness and another chance.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Farming is, and always will be, one of the best means of business, even though it can vary to being consistent to something that fluctuates. It proves to be profitable even when what's gained is not immense in monetary form. I'm talking about the availability of resources and produce that are useful to the owners and farmers as well. The returns are modest, but they are quite worth the humble gain. Anyway, I love how your business ideals reflect your own good, the good of the business and those that your business touches. I'm wishing you and your business all the best! :)

    Daryl Cross @ Nahi Gazal


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