Saturday, 12 September 2015

Squash Harvest

Although today, as I write, it's been raining steadily (it's the first rainy day we have had since the spring I think - though we have had an almost ideal rainfall this year - often overnight or short bursts during the day) yesterday I spent most of the day harvesting squash, weeding the struggling strawberry rows, and setting up beds for greens that will go into the fall and serve the first part of winter CSA shares (before winter sets in and we will use hardy vegetables grown in the greenhouse).  It was a beautiful fall-weather day.  The sun seemed less intense and not as high for as long as I've been used to, and the air was a bit drier andcrisper.  The trees in the forest are still fully green and in their shade it could just as well be spring.

The last couple of weeks of August were hot and humid, and work had become so repetitive and unsatisfying that I got frustrated and morose, even thinking about getting as far away from farming as I could and soon.  The shift in the weather, and seeing the squash patch cleared - and a good abundance in the shed where they'll be left to cure, has shifted something in my mood and outlook.

I welcome fall and winter. Life goes more at a pace that suits me - the hard work of farming is generally satisfying, and one of the things that drew me to it, now that I think about it, is the idea that the pace of life is slower.  (That's not the case in the summer, when we are scrambling to make as much in sales as is possible to offset a slower winter season).  There is no way around the fact that the modern world demands a constant speeding up of life's pace.  The man credited with developing the cell phone was recently on CBC lauding his invention for how it improved productivity and allowed more people to do more things at once.  But it's probably more a mixed blessing.

I have noticed that most of the time since I've been farming, I've felt that this is the pace that is compatible with my own physical and mental functioning.  Life in Calgary in 2005, and life in Toronto in 2012 were both a constant, blurred rush.  I caught a lot of colds, and felt more often than not that I was in a sort of soldiering-on mode.  If there were ways to live a more mellowed life, I couldn't see it.  It's a tall order in 2015, and I think it's something many of us are seeking at the core.

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