At the farm we are pulling out our summer crops and planting our fall and winter crops. We need our salad greens and spinach planted before the end of September so they have enough daylight and warmth to germinate and grow before the days get too short and cold. Therefore, we have been incredibly busy trying to get this all accomplished. We got a big boost of help from Cheryl Stockwell Academy’s High School on Friday with ripping out cherry tomatoes, harvesting potatoes, pulling out drip irrigation from the fields, and weeding the rutabaga. It was amazing to have that many people working here at the same time!
Fall is also one of my favorite times of the year because we plant garlic. It is a commitment to next year. Planting now and knowing that in 10 months we will have beautiful, fragrant, spicy bulbs of garlic to harvest. It is one of those crops that requires a 12 month investment. We plant in October, mulch heavily with leaves in the fall and again in the spring, harvest garlic scapes in June, harvest the bulbs in July, dry and cure in August, clean and start selling in August, then replant in October. We also save the largest bulbs to replant each year so we get to see the bulbs increase in size and quantity. Overall it is easy to grow and reaps huge rewards.
It reminds me to evaluate tasks am I doing now that are labor and time intensive, but will reap the rewards later. It is often easy for me to get all wrapped up in the daily tasks and forget that I will see the results. I just have to be patient.
One of my favorite sayings, that got me through college (especially when I wanted to quit and go sailing), was written by Robert Collier. I kept it with me all through college. It was so inspirational that I decided to cross stitch it and hang it in my house as a constant reminder.
It is good for me to not only read it, but read it with my cherished ambition in mind.
I struggle with ways to make the farm profitable and I am always scheming, dreaming, and believing that we can figure out a way to bring in more cash and streamline our operations. I do this constantly. And I mean constantly to the point of all-consuming.
My friend Sherri said I am in the arena and that I could use an outside view. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about and she said I needed to look up Teddy Roosevelt’s speech.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I can relate wholeheartedly to this quote. My face and body are marred with dust, sweat and blood. I am one who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions, worthy causes, and I am not afraid to dare greatly. I am definitely not a timid soul. I enjoy life too much to sit back and watch. The achievements and failures are all successes to me because I gave them both my all.
My coach Noam also told me I needed an outside view the very next day. So I did two things. First I asked several female friends - wise women to help me think outside the arena and to help me get a new perspective. We met this afternoon and they asked me a lot of tough questions and questions I had never considered. They also agreed to help me figure it out and we left with things each person would do. We are meeting again next week. It is truly amazing to ask for help and to receive so much!
Next Noam asked me to answer several questions he had from a place where I could see the whole farm. My first reaction was the balcony of the farmhouse. But then I realized that living on the farm is part of being in the arena, so I went out to the hay field to look at the whole farm from an outside view.
Both endeavors allowed me to get an outside view that I had not considered before. Stepping out of the arena was helpful. Now that I have new things to ponder, I again climb into the arena as the next round begins.
I am supposed to be doing an update on my Happiness Project for Abundance Cubed, but I have not been feeling very happy lately. I haven’t slept well, eaten healthy, or taken any time off to relax. Farming can be stressful, especially during the height of the summer season. It is also a job that you are constantly planning 12 months into the future. It is difficult to just change strides when crops are in the ground and you already have commitments to meet.
So today I had a good cry. You may be familiar with it, the sob from the soul. My coach Noam talked about getting angry and feeling a release. For me sobbing from the soul can be purifying. It doesn’t make me happier, but it makes me more peaceful. It allows me to release my anxiety and stress and start to externalize it instead of internalizing it. I was told I cry too much when I was a kid. I do cry when I’m happy, sad, and angry. I cry at sappy commercials. I was also told by a manager that I worked with that crying is normal. She said that I shouldn’t be embarrassed or upset that I show that side of myself. She said others shout, cuss, get silent, storm out, etc. These emotions are just normal and each person has their own way to deal with their emotions, so I should value my crying.
When my son was little I had a doctor tell me that I needed to learn how to cry in front of my son. He said I was giving the impression that I never get upset or sad and therefore my son felt like he was doing something wrong when he cried. It was hard for me to share my crying, but it helped him understand it was normal when I did and when he did.
Yet, I do choose to sob alone. The uncontrollable, intense emotions are something I prefer to keep to myself. There have been moments when I have shared it with my husband and family – especially when it was shared grief or pain. But when it is an issue I am personally struggling with, I need to sob by myself because then I can be 100% sincere in my feelings and not worry about how someone else needs to react to my release. It also opens my chest up afterwards and I finally feel like I can breathe deeply again. I don’t even know how tightly I am wound until that release.
The New Farmer Fundraiser was a huge success!! We reached our goal and raised over $5000! We are wrapping up all the final details of the silent auction and donations. A HUGE THANKS needs to go to the following people and companies. I apologize if I forgot someone. The outpouring of support was fantastic!
Thank you Jacky Bastion for taking all these photos. There also many other helping hands that made this event happen from serving, washing dishes, cleaning the barn, setting up the silent auction, etc. THANK YOU ALL!!!