Friday, December 30, 2011


More than anything else, this time of year means - to me - transition. The end of things, the beginning of things. Anniversaries of our little farm, of my life, of holidays, and wonderful and poignant memories of all. The balls keep on spinning.
Our deciduous plants - the Chinese Pistache, Vitex, and dwarf Bonanza Peach trees, and the Wisteria Vine - all have finally loosed their leaves, creating puddles of color underneath, blanketing the earth, providing one more layer of mulch for the plants beneath. The sun, just now starting her climb back North, is beginning to peak through.
The South-facing front yard has the feeling of expectancy, as if it is poised - holding its breath - in anticipation of the long, lovely, sun-drenched Spring days to come. The largely root crops planted there have held on through the shade cast by the Pistache and Carob, slowly gathering up the sweetness from their dark delicious earth, waiting for the final push toward a delightful finish that the return of the Sun will bring.

The back yard, North facing, is colder than the front. Visible ravages from the low-lying frost of the past few nights are evident in the brown-tipped leaves of the lettuces, in the truncated branches of the peppers. Not dead, thankfully, just singed. This afternoon I will trim the lettuces of their now-slimy (lovely!) edges, in an attempt to encourage them to grow more leaves.
I'll admit to some anxiety over the blank spaces in our canvas.
I try to look at these places as challenges. What could best grow in the shadows of Big Red, the shadiest part of our little farm? What's the best rotation crop, following zucchini, in the exact opposite - the sunniest part?
I try to see opportunities for learning more about seed propagation, about hot boxes, and starting earlier.
But more importantly I try to remember Farm Time, which teaches me, yes, that there is a season to everything. And this is the season of transition. Of bean vines dying, while pea vines flower. Of frost-bit tomatoes that may be alive just enough to ripen the fruit on the vine. Of onion seedlings finally coming up after weeks in the ground. Of the whole great reality that there is no end, no beginning, just always transition.