The Facts of Life

by Jason Halm, Farm Manager

There are three words running through my head this week on the farm, as facts of life.

The first: everything is growing. Maybe that seems obvious, on a farm, but every spring I am stunned by just how lush the farm gets to be–even in this dry, dry spring we’ve had so far. Trees have budded out and burst forth in phenomenal plumes of white, purple, and pink blossoms (and pollen followed not far behind). It always feels as if the farm lurches slowly from winter to spring until about this time, when the rate of growth shoots up, seemingly exponentially. This is my fifth May spent fully on the farm, and it never fails to amaze me how fast it all grows  (unfortunately, this also includes weeds).

The second thought… It is green out here. We’ve always joked about how green the first farmshare or two are, and this year is no exception: beet greens, green garlic, green lettuce, green pea shoots, etc. The greens, fresh and delicate and incredibly packed with flavor and nutrition we so desperately craved this winter, are extremely welcomed. We do look forward to the day (read: next week) when some of the more colorful roots and greens will be making appearances on the table.

As a crew, too, we were a little green. We’ve been working together for about two months so far this year (we’ve worked together, in some cases, for as long as six years). Farming presents the joy of relearning all of your muscles, both actual and metaphorical memory muscles, every single year, task by task. We’ve begun to settle into the routine, the roles, and the schedules of farm season. 9 PM is suddenly known as farmer’s midnight. Dunkin Donuts becomes my second kitchen. The chaco tan paints my feet, and my work hat becomes an extension of myself.

But, the greenness has washed out a little bit, drowned out by the reps we get at work: the 30,000 potatoes planted in 5 hours, the 75 or so times we’ve irrigated fields already this year, the 12,000 row feet of carrots weeded and ready to be watered, the thousands of peppers seeded, potted up, perfectly tended to, just waiting to be plopped in their summer homes in time for Memorial Day.

The newness of the first days of this farm season have been replaced by a deep, abiding gratitude. A gratitude for your show of faith in us to feed your family. A gratitude for good, hard, and fun work worth doing. And, most of all, a gratitude for this farm and this farm season, shared, with you and with each other.

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