Last autumn, I wrote a letter to a faraway friend announcing that I'd discovered myself to be a transitional-season person.
Until then, I'd always imagined myself a hot rock summer creature, a Jersey Shore child still at heart, but in truth, I told her, the stiff heat of the summer is hard on my psyche, and certainly the endless shoulder scrunch of winter doesn't serve me well, either. Spring and autumn are my seasons, the times when I annoy even myself with constant loving out loud of the CLOUDS and the TREES and the SMELL and the AIR! And there's a magic in the spring and the fall that nobody can ignore, it just is.
I think when I wrote that letter, I'd forgotten about the reckless chaos of early spring, especially for a farmer. The spring is magical, for sure, and don't get me wrong, I won't shut up about the buds and the crocuses.
But it brings a sort of low level brutality that I forget about until it's here. It's signs are on my body : wheelbarrow bruised shins, torn up sandpaper hands, the still-red sunburn patches on the backs of my knees, from that shorts-weather-day that I spent bent over with a rake, forgetting that shorts and sunscreen are meant to go together. Spring is making it's mark on my home, too : the pile of mud-caked pants and sweatshirts growing on my bedroom floor, delayed responses to emails and phone calls. There's a brutality in our work, this time of year. The soil goes through phases of looking as rough as I do, as we hack and flip and rake it into submission after a long winter's rest. Drench it with this mineral fertilizer and that manure tea. Rock piles and weed piles and tool piles and found trash piles dotting the field.
Some nights it's been getting down close to the dreaded freezing point, but our fledgling transplants are stronger than I am. We've got kale, onions, peas, salad, spinach, tatsoi, broccoli, and mustard in the ground.. scallions and some greens that survived the winter are hanging in there, too. Our seed ginger is pre-sprouting in the greenhouse and will find it's feet in the dirt in the next few weeks. Stay in touch for more updates, follow our Instagram account (@sidewalkendsfarm) for snapshots of our days, and if you see us, hug your farmer!