My New Year’s resolution list was shamefully short this year. It was one item.
Practice being a better grower.
Practice. It’s a pretty clear concept to me. Every day I practice the same thing and, over time the practice gets better, more disciplined. Eventually it takes on a routine and the practice becomes a little less daunting.
Then why am I surprised at how much work “practice” takes?
For me, practicing being a better grower is pretty simple. It means I wake up, fix my tea and go out to the farm with my tiny notebook and pen. I walk the farm. I take notes. What needs attention? What’s doing well, what’s failing? Why? Where do I spend my time? What do I give up on?
This little walk about is not a big deal. It takes about 20 minutes. Less with practice.
Except the seedlings need water. The dog needs to be fed. Emails responded to. Calls returned. Vendors paid, a few quick errands and Boom! The day is underway.
The big projects get bigger. The small ones begin to grow. There is always a fire to put out and a person to deal with.
And, all the while, the weeds grow.
It’s May and the farm is entering silly season. The time of the year when all of the preparations from January, February and March burst into life. Everything needs attention. Everything is out of control. And the practice is more important than ever.
In a sick, sadistic way, this is why I love farming. I can always get better. The practice never ends. And so tomorrow, on a particularly crazy day, I’ll make my tea, walk the farm and fill the page with another list. Then, by the grace of good fortune, help will arrive and the big projects will get smaller and the small projects will stay just that.
Here’s to all of you who are also heading into Silly Season. Enjoy the ride and we’re wishing you a good practice!