Every day the farm gets a little bit dreamier. I’ve been hard at work on lots of bits and pieces: planting trees and hedgerows, building a greenhouse, cleaning up the left behinds from prior owners, disking and planting the fields for this year’s crops, the list goes on.
This week though, after months of planning, researching, learning, purchasing a million little pieces, and many hours of labor (not my own), I plugged in a light in the barn and turned it on. No big deal, just another day with lights from volts and amps. No. Big. Deal.
Oh my goodness, just kidding, it is a big deal because it’s solar power, renewable energy, light at night from sun in the day! What!? It’s amazing, and I can’t take any credit for it because I already stated what I know about it : watts = volts x amps.
I’m indebted a galaxy for this solar system.
Check out those panels in the sun!! Swoon!
Laughing to myself as I wandered across this 17 acre blank canvas today, thinking about tucking the first little plants in to the ground. And the words that came to mind were, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” And I thought, where should I begin? And it came to mind that I should “start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.” Have you read what I’ve read?
Observe, admire, emulate.
Every year I plant 1,000 sunflowers just for the birds and the bees. I don’t sell them, or even harvest but a few. I love to watch the bees ravenously crawling around on the flower in full bloom, desperate as a swarm of 6 year olds when the birthday party pinata bursts. Then the giant blooms fall over when the seeds fill out, signaling the gold finches to swoop in for a summer snack.
2017 was a wet year, if you hadn’t heard. A great year to be a slug, and slug is who I blame for eating so many young sunflower seedlings last year. The strongest sunflowers I had the whole year was planted by a visiting class from the World of Inquiry Middle School. The kids lined up in the dirt, squatted down, tucked in the seeds, and walked away. This beautiful oddball to the left grew among that row of stunning golden giants, a tangled and curious anomaly.
One thing that really struck me about farming early on was how much of it I could do with absolutely no experience, background, or prior training. I was handed seeds and a given a basic, brief explanation. And they grew. The most eloquent way I’ve heard it explained is, “Shit wants to grow.” Nudge along but get out of the way and enjoy the show.
What I’m trying to say is that my job is really easy. You’re probably qualified. Must love dirt.
Like Snow, By Wendell Berry