This time of year is always fraught with anxiety and stress. Most people think that farming is only done in the warm months, alas, this is most certainly not the case. This is the time of year when most decisions are made, goals are set, seeds are ordered, and early plantings are squeezed in with the hope of success that isn’t always manifested.
Unfortunately, we were given false hope with the warm weather of previous weeks. A single day of weather in the 50s is enough to make one’s green thumb alert them that it is time to start throwing stuff in the ground. Despite the hints of spring we can’t get ahead of ourselves to get too much in the ground. Being in a hurry to plant things can, often, end up disastrous; whether it is early planted peas rotting in the ground, or beautiful, young lettuce plants being killed by an overnight freeze.
The struggles with weather and, for that matter, anything that nature throws at us are what makes farming the beautiful art that it is. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature and we must work with her and, at times, work around her to get a successful crop. I find much beauty in the complexity of farming. It is almost like composing and then conducting a year-long symphony. Having your lettuce die or your peas rot in the ground in the late days of winter is a bummer but all we can do is write it down and consider it next year. Much like in music and art, without struggle, there is no progress. Embrace the beauty of this struggle and appreciate the wisdom you will gain by living it. Remember, there is always next year..