Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thinking Towards Spring

Despite the weekly snows that keep never quite melt out on the farm, I can tell that spring is coming. The birds have it in their voices. I can see the cottonwood and silver maple buds swelling on the branches. I read it in the lines of wild geese at sunset, silhouetted against the sky.

I see it heralded in the mail, as well: seed catalogues, dairy and sheep supply catalogues, poultry catalogues.

I hear bits of talk among friends of seed starting, garden planning, CSA marketing. People ask, "Now, when does Farmer's Market start up again?" At Pinwheel, we start planting as soon as snow is off the ground, hopefully in early March. Looking out across white lawns and fields, it seems impossible. But each afternoon brings unexpected melting, even if the thermometer still reads below freezing.

I get a call from one of my fellow shepherds, confirming my flock size so she can make arrangements with the shearer. Sheep Shearing Day is set for March 19--only a little more than a month away! People I meet in the grocery store ask about it more and more. I get emails from people offering to come help.

Shearing heralds lambing: The beginning of April should bring lambs on the ground, as well as Farmer's Market Opening Day. People start enquiring about helping with lambing, volunteering in the garden, interning for the season.

The Planting Season is preceded by the Planning Season. To-do lists, lists of seeds to order, garden plans, talking with potential volunteers, planning, planning, planning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can it really be that almost a whole year has gone by since I first set foot in your house at Pinwheel?
Sheep shearing, harvesting the over-wintered crops and surveying and marking the NE quadrant were what we did the first week I arrived.
Oh I miss that time of life! Learning under you, making so many new friends, living with Tim, being with Matt. Lawrence was truly magical last Spring.
I'm sorry for all the hardships you've gone through, but I know that God doesn't treat His children lightly, and that the more struggles we go through, the more opportunities we have to come face to face with Him.
Though I love it here on the west coast, I don't think I'll stay out here forever, but who knows? I'm letting God lead me, and hopefully that means back to Lawrence again.
I'm writing a letter to send you for the Council meeting. I'll get it to you soon!
Wish you the best with the outcome, and for a fruitful next season!