Part of our routine on the farm includes regular crop walks. To an outside observer, this looks like ben is aimlessly walking around a field, muttering to himself, crouching down, examining leaves and munching on different crops. He scouts for pests, any signs of disease and takes regular peeks to see what is ready to be harvested soon. We often do crop walks with our kids in the evening twilight. Last week we were in our field on west street in hadley after the heat of the day had dissipated and the field seemed to sing it looked so healthy and vigorous. Orderly rows of cabbage, beets, broccoli, lettuce, greens and more seemed to glow with vitality. The soil in this field is heavier than most of our soils and has a wonderful ability to hold moisture and despite this drought and heat the plants could not be happier. While farming as a vocation is fraught with daily turmoil and stressors (where IS that rain??), we are learning to hold on to these moments of rightness and success too. We looked out at those tidy, (temporarily) weed free rows and I imagine that felt a bit like parenting a teenager…. (Our little ones are still small enough that we can delude ourselves with illusions of control). Walking away from those fields must be a bit like sending a teenager out into the world every day, knowing about all of the forces that might work against them and hoping that they will be strong and flourish despite them.
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