Hay season

A couple of times a year, I mow lots of grass. Not in the $40-billion-make-my-lawn-look-like-a-golf-course sort of way, but in the make food for animals sort of way. We mow and bale about 30 acres of grass hay every year … Continue reading

A couple of times a year, I mow lots of grass. Not in the $40-billion-make-my-lawn-look-like-a-golf-course sort of way, but in the make food for animals sort of way.

We mow and bale about 30 acres of grass hay every year to hold our cattle and goats through the winter. There are a lot of things that make hay a chore, like the heat and dodging the weather, but despite my complaints, I actually look forward to it.

While so many people slave away in cubicles or at cash registers, I get to spend days outside in the sun, in near contact with the abundance of nature, using big machines. In the hours I spend mowing, raking, and baling, I find a unique opportunity to contemplate and formulate this path of life I travel.

And sure, things go wrong. Equipment breaks. The weather doesn’t cooperate. I see these things as opportunities to grow stronger. To develop fortitude. To solve problems.

For me, hay season is the peak of my year. That’s not to say that it’s downhill from there, but I look forward to this every year even as I dread it. Hay season encapsulates farming as a whole, and I love it all.

DLH

Day 168 – bush beans

168

 

More food growing – our plot of bush beans.  I just can’t say it enough – fresh food tastes so much better than what you find in the produce aisle (conventional or organic – it’s usually picked before it’s ripe and shipped however many miles from field to grocery).  We’ve gotten spoiled by the proliferation of fruit and veggies that we sometimes forget that at one point, you couldn’t get fresh apples if it wasn’t late summer or fall.  No strawberries in January.

I’m not sure that we’ve improved food by having it available all year long.  I remember what a big deal it was when the local FFA (Future Farmers of America) would send out information to order Florida citrus – boxes of oranges and grapefruit would arrive to be portioned out for the orders.

There’s something good and right about having to wait for something – the first strawberries or tomatoes off the vine, the first green beans snapped into a metal bowl on the porch.  It tastes better, it’s enjoyed more (especially if you grew it yourself and put your time and sweat into it).

It’s a tricky balance – convenience versus anticipation.

 

Staying the course, or farming goals for 2010

As I mentioned previously, I give myself a D+ for the past year’s effort. That means there’s still a long way to go, so the goal for this year is to stay the course with what I am already doing. Staying the course means resisting the temptation to add more when what I am already […]

As I mentioned previously, I give myself a D+ for the past year’s effort. That means there’s still a long way to go, so the goal for this year is to stay the course with what I am already doing.

Staying the course means resisting the temptation to add more when what I am already doing is not quite working yet. I have a lot of ideas I would like to try, but before I do, I want the stuff I’ve already started to work.

To that end, I will be focusing on the following efforts this year:

My hope is that, by the end of this year, I can improve my grade to at least a C+ and have something to show for it too. Keep reading on this site for updates.

DLH