First Winter On The Farm

Each day the sun rises a little earlier and sets a little later. In spite of this, it is the coldest part of winter.  Sharp winds whip the snow about and nip my nose on my daily walk. The snow here is clean and white unlike the brown mess it quickly becomes in the city. It is colder here too so the snowman we built a month ago is still keeping watch over our yard.

I can’t wait until things start growing, to see the garlic poking up, new blossoms on trees and all of the vegetation come back to life. And yet, there is so much to do between now and then that I’m also happy to see the snow on the ground and the night fall early. Planning crops, irrigation, marketing, distribution, packaging. Building the wash/pack station and the walk in cooler. Purchasing seeds, tools, compost. And then there is the camping site. Tent platforms to build, the outdoor kitchen and bathroom facilities. The covered dining area and screened room. Also, searching for furnishing for the tents, cozy beds, bedside tables, carpeting.   

There is lots to plan and do, but really this is a kind of busy I thrive on. And it’s a welcome diversion from the Covid losses. I am fortunate that my family is healthy and that I have a new project to work on and business to build. And yet, the loss of my restaurant still sits heavy with me. I miss much about that life even as I am happy to be crafting a new one on the farm. I miss the people - so many people. The kids I was watching grow up one brunch or dinner visit at a time. The friends, customers and staff (and there were many who fell into all three categories), the neighbours and suppliers. How strange to have seen all of these people so consistently for ten years, and then have it all just stop.

We are all missing our communities. Whatever forms they took, they were different then than now.  How different will the year ahead be? Will we be able to get together with our families and friends? Will some of our old routines return? Many will likely not. I hope so much that the farm will be a place where I will get to connect with people in person again. Already we are meeting new friends, and have been fortunate to have a few old ones come for a distanced fire pit visit.

I have long observed with awe the persistence of nature, the will of plants to grow even under some seemingly impossible conditions - sprouting up out of the crack in the driveway, trees seeming to cling with their roots to rocky cliffs. Life really does want to keep living. I take that inspiration as I forge ahead and dream of green shoots emerging, fruits and vegetables ripening, and new circles of friends gathering.