As I mentioned in my quick political post last week, I unintentionally took the month of January off from updating the blog. Although farm work never really stops, it certainly slows sometimes, and January is the quietest month of the year for us. We usually have all of our plans made by the end of the previous year, sometimes even our seeds are ordered. Other times we place those orders in January; but that is still quiet, inside work, the telling of which is funner once those seeds become plants and we can show you the beautiful new varieties we are playing with this year instead of just telling you. All in all, there is little to update anyone on. Even taking pictures of the farm slows down, because winter in Oregon isn’t necessarily very picturesque. There is rarely any brilliant white snow. The landscape is brown, gray, and dirty looking–it seems impossible to make it pretty in January.
Except for the sunsets. They are spectacular in the winter. And they are especially spectacular when our lower field is full of water and the sun sets over this winter wetland. When it isn’t too cold, we all walk down to the field as the sun sets to watch the ducks fly in for the night. The water is flashing with their wings, the air filled with their sounds. And just like at dawn, there is a freshness at this time when night and day linger in the sky together that is so refreshing.
Now that February has come and even spent half of itself already, this quiet, slow way is beginning to pick up the pace. We can feel spring in the air, itching to take over for old king winter. Seeds have been started in the greenhouse, transplants have been placed in the ground. The interlude of dry, winter weather that always seems to precede the really wet days of spring are perfect for working up some ground. And this year, with the farmer home and working on the farm full time, we haven’t missed this chance to do field work before it gets really wet again. So exciting!
Yes, the quiet of January is nice, its stillness a much needed reprieve from the pretty hectic pace of life on the farm in summer and fall. But each year, when spring comes around and a new season begins in earnest, we are always so ready. We love the work we do, and as we begin to plant the seeds of the coming season’s harvest, we are filled with the same sweet, simple feeling of hope. Everything is possible at this moment. There is no unpredictable weather to deal with (yet), no pests (yet), no problems (yet). Every season comes with one challenge or another on the farm; but on the outset of the year, that possibility is the furthest thing from our minds.
And although it is not strictly spring yet, her beginnings are always found in February with those surprisingly warm days and the blooming of snowdrops, the sprouting of daffodils. A season’s dawn, especially spring’s, is a beautiful thing.