If I show this recent picture of our farm to people in the blog, they will probably just shrug their shoulders and say, "ya, so what? It's a bunch of trees and some blue sky."
To me, this photo shows one of the more dramatic changes that has happened on our farm over the past couple of months. Just last November, the area looked like this (by the way, it is just coincidence that the same flair box is in a similar location right now).
I mentioned just last Friday that we have a few "blind spots" on our farm that come primarily out of necessity. The two of us are fully aware that there are some things that could use our attention that, to everyone else, look very much like we ignore them. The old barn became one such blind spot as it became apparent that it was no longer safe to use and there was no way we could afford to repair it.
Sadly, it is safer for us to ignore the project that is the clean-up of the old barn because it will take a significant chunk of time and effort. And, there are other things standing in line AHEAD of this project that will use those resources first.
August's rough weather week is responsible for this very big visual change at our farm. And, being perfectly honest, knocking the remainder of the barn down was actually a small favor to us. We just might be able to start cleaning the old building up now that it won't require lots of specialized equipment to do so. We just still need access to the time and energy resources.
Speaking of the difference one year can make, let me point out that I took this picture on October 19, 2020.
The temperatures have been extremely warm for this time of year in 2021. We have sniffed the 30's for a low temperature only once so far. And, this year I am grateful for it.
It's true that there are other years when having a long, warm Fall could be a good thing for the Genuine Faux Farm. But, up until this year, we have been running the farm at 'full capacity.' Now that we have stepped back a bit, we still have plenty to do out there and the time we have to spend outside is more limited than it has been in the past. That means we value those outdoor hours in a different way.
So, the difference isn't the fact that a long Fall is useful to us to try to get it all done. The difference is in my attitude towards that long Fall. If you transport me back to October of 2018 when we were just barely hanging on, you would find a completely different attitude. We were wishing the season would just end and put us out of our misery.
I suspect we are not the only small-scale, diversified farm that has looked at October and frosty nights as a good and very welcome thing. After a long season with all of its ups and downs, we're often ready for a last big push before we can - maybe - breathe a little bit more freely. Once the killing frost takes out some of the veggie crops that are still doing something for us, we can let go of them and move on. In a very real way, it is an event that grants permission to farmers, such as ourselves, to accept what has happened for the year and, as we prepare for Winter, begin to turn to the hope of a new season instead of slogging through the troubles of the current one.
But this year? This year has been very different for me and I don't exactly feel the same way. In fact, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this Fall.
I guess I'll let you know once that first frost actually arrives.