forward thinking

IMG_8378I’m not sure a day could be more beautiful than today was. The autumn is waning to be sure, treading on the heels of winter, but it was nearly 70 degrees today. The autumn foliage is beginning to look richer and more tarnished, sporting some of my most favorite colors. For the most part, the sky appeared cloudy, but the sun kept finding holes and breaking through the clouds with shafts of light that would shine for a moment, like a spotlight on a soloist. One minute the neighbor’s high grassy pasture, peppered with black cattle, would be brilliantly illuminated, then just as quickly fade back into it’s surroundings. The next minute, the trees deep within the forest would light up, as if in invitation, while the trees in the foreground still felt dark and heavy. It was easy to just forget one’s work and stare at the ever-changing light show. Then the wind would blow filling the sky with a swirling of leaf confetti leaving me feeling like if I jumped up just so I, too, might be able to take flight and dance through the air.IMG_8383As much as I love the thought of living in the moment, allowing myself to dance with the leaves and watch the picture-show taking place in these beautiful hills in which I live, I also have to heed the weather. Well, not just the weather because then I would be free to go on with my dancing and gazing, but the future weather. I plan my moves accordingly, strategizing as if in a heated chess match. If we didn’t pay close attention to what the weather holds, things could get real ugly around here. While we are not very tech-savvy here in Bugtussle, or relationship with “checking the weather” on the internet borders on obsession.IMG_8364Sometimes the 10-day weather forecast holds some very important information. Like despite the fact that today was perfectly gorgeous, tomorrow will be an entirely different beast. Like the fact that in a few days, the weather will likely be the coldest we have seen so far this fall. Like the fact that rain is marching this way.IMG_8372So this morning, we spread lime on an acre sized garden that has been in a forage crop for several years. Ira even got a quick lesson on driving the big tractor so that Eric and I could both wield shovels and hurl the lime from the bucket while Ira did the driving (mind you…very slowly, in low gear). We hustled to get it done (even though I kept getting distracted by the falling leaves) so that this afternoon, Eric could plow it for next spring’s garden. He wasn’t quite able to get the entire acre plowed before the rain set in, but nearly. This was likely our last opportunity for this kind of work until next spring, when there is already too much to do. Yesterday, we spent hours finishing up the mulching of the garlic patch that Jesse had started over the weekend. Now the garlic is tucked under it’s warm blanket for the winter. We still have to bring potatoes from the barn, shut the water off in our outdoor kitchen, and make sure the root cellar is snug. If not for a little forward thinking, lots of this work would have gone undone giving us a lot of added stress later.IMG_8343And somehow, simultaneously falling at precisely the same time we are due to have some seriously cold weather, we are also going to be away from our farms. You see, in just a couple of days, the three of us, Robin, Coree, and myself will be engaged in our first ever public speaking gig as a trio. I know we are all, my dear fellow farmwives and I, both nervous and terribly excited for this new twist in our work with each other. Together, we will be “speaking” at the National Biodynamic Farming Conference: Farming for Health. Eeegads. Public speaking probably ranks almost as high on my list of favorite things as stepping in fresh duck shit in bare feet. But I digress. Fortunately the three of us aren’t necessarily giving a “presentation”, but having a public conversation about the “Women’s Eye View of the Farm”. There will be no podiums or power-points. Just the three of us with hopes of sharing our experiences, maybe providing a little insight, hopefully lots of inspiration, and most definitely lots of laughter. If you are already planning to go to this event, or find yourself in Louisville on Friday afternoon, come join in our conversation. I think it will be great fun.

5 thoughts on “forward thinking

  1. Ah . . . small children driving big tractors–that takes me back to my girlhood on the farm! And, as a public-speaking prof, I can tell you that you have exactly the right approach to your presentation–it’s a conversation among like-minded people. Good luck!

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