Somewhere, in the deep woods of some sleepy town, next to a frozen creek, way down under the snow…life has begun to stir. Soil has begun waking up from its winter hibernation, lying in that dreamy haze we all know too well between the alarm and snooze button, planning out what’s next to come. It’s begun to think about shaking off the heavy snow soon and breathing in the fresh spring air. It can almost feel what the future holds when it will open up, letting earthworms spill out into the rain, and welcoming new roots to fill itself with again…
At least that’s how I envision what’s going on beneath my boots as I crunch and slide over the packed snow on the Wassaic Community Farm.
I just arrived here on this little farm – what will now be my new home and workplace for the 2011 growing season – last Thursday night. I made my way from the JFK Airport, through the tangle of NYC subways and subway-goers (who were clearly understanding of the fact that I was dragging my oversized piece of luggage as well as my intrusive backpack through the 1/2 inch of space that MTA leaves us all to walk through ), and out of the City to the tiny hamlet (hamlet meaning the little town that could…not quite make it as a town). I arrived to a lovely surprise welcome dinner hosted by the sweet farmers who have added me on to their team as the third farmer and food justice/education coordinator.
Ahhh. I am instantly happy to be back up north where local, farm fresh food is much easier to come by – and incredibly good. I also, in spite of feeling like it took me longer to get out to this Harlem Valley farm only an hour and a half from the City than it did to get from Florida to New York, am immediately relieved to find myself in the perfect balance between the country-farm life and the city that never sleeps. I, being the girl of blended contrasts, am excited to enjoy the best of both worlds this season… that is, if I find the time or energy to leave the farm once the real work kicks in.
As my time in south Florida came to a close, I tried to savor every last drop of sunshine from my parents’ garden oasis or from my seat at the seaside with a book in my hand. I was completely spoiled this Winter, but don’t feel one bit guilty about my overindulgence in free time and serenity because -all along I knew – the end of February would be about that time. Time for the fun to end and for my very first full season as a for real farmer to begin.
This truth became an ice-cold reality today as my boots plunged down three feet into the melting snow, my coveralls caught on the barn fence, and my dirt-caked fingers threatened to break off like icicles as I struggled to dig our seedling tables out from under six inches of solid ice.
Sure as hell glad I soaked up that 79 degree weather last week. At least the insides of my four layers of clothes are appreciating the tan lines I worked so hard on all winter.
woot. bring it on.