"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Friday, August 24, 2012

DIARY OF A FARM

 
What to write about when you think you have nothing to write about?  Once you start writing, you find you have much to write about.
 
From ten days ago:  Rain continues and the bean harvest was stellar. Time time time defeats me. No time to make favorite recipes or new recipes or query that finished manuscript or pull weeds from my flowers, lots of weeds in the garden to pull and pile and stack and burn. No, we don’t burn them; we throw them to the chickens. I discovered the chickens like Swiss Chard. As I was pulling off the tattered bottom leaves, they were clucking behind me in their pasture, and I threw the leaves over the fence on a whim. They converged on the leavings like buzzards on carrion, scrapped and fought over the juicy tidbits and colorful stems. Then there are the pigs. Pigs woof down whatever the garden offers them, overgrown summer squash is a favorite. They tidy things up. They even eat the hardneck garlic stems. You've heard the story about the missing hunters and the pigs? It's easy to get rid of a body when you have pigs.

Rain?  What rain? Here we are ten days later and watering the lettuce again. July brought record heat and August has brought record cool nights. I’m sure the basil is less than pleased. The tomato worms are voracious this year. They have horns and eyes and they're green all the way through. Hubby killed a 4-incher yesterday. Left alone, they'll devour an entire plant. I don’t like them. I don’t like getting green guts on my shoes or toes should I make the mistake of trying to step on one in my flip flops. Duh. 

Today I will take a jar into the tomato patch and collect the tomato worms and save them for the chickens. They like them. I shall not stomp on them, splattering green goo across the garden. I shall not. 

I can tell fall approaches, not so much by the early darkening as in the foggy mornings and the cricket noises. They greet me at the entrance to the greenhouse and I hear them in the night. Seems like only yesterday the June bugs were banging their heads against the screen in the window beside my table on which my laptop rests. Only yesterday was it light at 9:30 in the evening and the grass was browning in the heat. Only yesterday was I swimming laps in the pond with arms and legs muscled and brown, reaching for the shore and the world beyond the top of the hill that abuts the water. Reaching and reaching with arms that didn’t tire, with no concern for the outside world and politics and the environment and whether I would be published or happy or strong. The burden of adulthood is the knowledge we acquire. Is it any wonder our parents walk with a stoop?

11 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

Those tomato worms sound like nasty critters!!

Being an adult does bring a lot of shoulder-stooping materials our way - some days more than others. Hope your load lightens soon!

J. B. Chicoine said...

It's sad to think that summer is winding down. I don't even want to think about what's around the corner. For now I'll revel in all the nuances of summer as you've so aptly described, and refuse to think about a month--or two or three--from now.

Jackee said...

Oh man, Yvonne. It sounds like you live in paradise! I live on 2 1/2 acres and would LOVE to farm more. And a pond! It's better than my wildest dreams. :o) Thanks for sharing your idyllic life--worms, lack of time, and all. xo

Nessa said...

Lovely vignettes of the passing of time. I felt like I was there with you.

g-man said...

Yvonne....?
You couldn't have condensed this down to 55 words?
Some people miss you ya know!!!
:P:P:P:P

Anthony Duce said...

I so enjoyed this. The observations are wonderful.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
They are gross but fairly easy to spot and destroy. And our plants are free of chemicals so it's a small price to pay for pure food. The load lightens come winter. Thanks for commenting!

J.B.
Thank you so much. I appreciate the nuances of summer.

Jackee,
Hi! Sometimes it's good to step back and see your place through the eyes of others. Thanks.

Nessa,
Thank you so much. I'm so glad you liked it and didn't get bored halfway through! Sometimes I fear that happens when I get too wordy.

G-Man,
Sometimes it's harder to write 55 words then 500! I'll be back on track after the winter squash is harvested and the garden goes to sleep. You should come visit us sometime at the Rochester Market. That would blow me away!

Tony,
Thank you!!! That's nice coming from someone who observes places, people and things the way you do.

Pet said...

Cool nights and warm days, the best of the year, isn't it? No so much the rain though.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Pet,
I do love the warm days and the cool nights. I love summer, just wish it wasn't so busy and we would get the rain we should. Today we're taking off for Lake Huron and our State Park at Lakeport, pictures of which I have plenty of here on the blog. It's as close to heaven as I can drive to in a flash. Thanks for commenting!

Stafford Ray said...

And walk with a stoop we do! But with adult children like you, we are confident the baton has been passed into wiser hands.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Stafford,
Hi! Thank you so much. What a pleasant surprise. I don't know how much wiser we are but we are certainly energetic!