August in Vermont is definitely about abundance on a farm, no doubt. So much so that the abundance sometimes becomes overwhelming…how do we find enough time to harvest, freeze,
can, cook, eat and otherwise hold onto this amazing produce flooding in from our fields..without falling over from exhaustion.
But when you do slow down long enough to savor that abundance, instead of feeling the scarcity of free time, life is beautiful. The colors, the flavors, the taste sensations…it is hard to get better than that.
Last week many of us on the farm were sobered a bit by the New York Times article “Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers” that articulated to the world the struggles of small farms, a story we all know too well.
Huge appreciation to Jenna Woginrich for her response, “Let Your Children Grow Up to be Farmers,”. She captures so much of the meaning in our lives as small farmers, that which goes beyond the profit margin. The learning and the joys are abundant on a daily basis.
“Let them challenge themselves to be forever resourceful and endlessly clever…Let them be bold. Let them be romantic…Let them get dirty. Let them kill animals. Let them cry at the beauty of fallow earth they just signed the deed for. Let them bring animals into this world, and realize they don’t care about placenta on their shirt because they no longer care about shirts. Let them wake up during a snowstorm and fight drifts at the barn door instead of traffic. Let them learn what real work is. Let them find happiness in the understanding that success and wealth are not the same thing.
Farming never has been, and never will be, an easy life but for many it is an easy choice. It means making a decision and owning it, really owning it the way few people get to own anything in their lives anymore. Let your children grow up to know this responsibility. Let them literally put food on the table, lift up their bootstraps and learn how much effort a life worth living entails,” Woginrich writes.
Her piece was great restart for me, I feel like I should read it daily in these crazy busy seasons, to remember to see, feel and embrace the abundance and not resent it.
Now onto eating, canning, freezing and feasting my eyes on all of those tomatoes!