Spring is here, but it hasn’t been one I’ve been hungry for. The dormancy of winter was never pulled down deep. The weight of snow, and dark and deep toned clouds didn’t encompass the past days, or weeks, or months. There wasn’t that moment of movement, when the sun pushed the clouds way, and how they oblige, to see the earth below bask in the rays of warmth. A moment of complete and utter presence for us all, human, animal and plants. No, the farm didn’t have that. We’ve had Mediterranean, we’ve had the sound of lawn mowers and the indelible smell of fresh cut grass. The heavy winter coat has been on the hanger for months, the frost cloth has been stored since fall, the heater in the greenhouse rarely gets asked to perform. The orchard is in bloom, the daffodils laugh, the lilacs are budding. We’ve had rain and mosquitoes, we’ve had rainbows and colorful butterflies. That sudden moment of transition to spring has been under-clouded by constant warmth, and all is inspired to just go on growing. We’ve had a procession into summer, a parade that has been given the sunny green light, to go marching along.
Spring usually vaults fourth with juxtaposition and edge. The delineated distinctions from dark to light, dormant to vibrant signs of life, are monikers of our accustomed seasonal patterns. The first and the last, beginning and end, cold and heat falling on their appropriate time line, not all mixed together to form patternless webs. The firsts and lasts are still noted, but are on a timeline of chaos. The last of the stored onions and winter squash are being enjoyed, the last of the daffodils have shown in bloom, the last seeds orders have come in, the last multiple day vacation, and the last (hopefully) scrap metal pile has been recycled! The first cucumber beetle was found feasting on the Napa cabbage, the first transplants were planted out in the field, the fist bales of frost cloth have been unwound to prepare for an April 1st tease freeze. The first phlox and yarrow have opened up in texture and color, the first porch hosted dinner was pleasantly enjoyed. The first harvests of Fall planted herbs and brassicas happened weeks ago, as they grew this winter with little resistance from Jack Frost.
We are steadily learning that out of sync is now in sync. That to be farmer and farm in this paradigm is to not only be in tune with nature’s cycles, but to know that these cycles can be more like coils, a scatter plot graph, a Rorschach Test. One way of looking at it is that we’re experiencing heightened diversity, and how we love and celebrate diversity here on the farm! Diversity in species from our animals and plant friends. Diversity in soil life. Diversity in our community which grows strong with local food. And how we embrace diversity in this unorganized system of weather, in this lion and lamb walking hand in hand through the gate of spring. The diversity of the firsts blending with the lasts. Welcoming a spring that nested itself in winter. To a season and farm and farmer that’s constantly, ever changing.