I’ve Fallen, And I Can’t Get Up
In case you’ve been wondering just how backwards-ass the farm is now, I present for your consideration:
I witnessed today an unlikely sight for the last week of January, but then, nothing that this farm does surprises me anymore. Dianthus is blooming in the greenhouse. Overwintered Dianthus. They are on their second year and are in three inch pots.
Then there is the cabbage.
I started a half dozen flats of cabbage back in late summer, with the idea of planting them out into a fall garden. It never happened; I started working off farm, and many, many tasks fell by the wayside. There are more than a few portions of the farm that have been left to fend for themselves.
The cabbage fended, and failed. They were left in tiny little cell trays in late August, unwatered and unloved. They remain, shriveled, almost desiccated stalks bent over and intertwined with each other amidst the dusty potting mix. They never stood a chance.
The overwintered perennials were on outdoor tables at the time, and managed to survive with the meager rainfall. I moved a lot of them inside when it started to get cold.
And so I have that incongruous little scene of flowering plants opening up a little bud and greeting the world, while there are snow flurries and ice storms outside. Juxtaposed against the cabbage, which should be just sprouting and starting to green up right now, but are, instead, in weather with more moisture that we know what to do with, hot, dry, fried and dried out.
I know not how I got myself into this, nor do I know how I will extricate myself from it. I do know that it is wrong. That it violates every law of man and God. It is no way to start of the season. These harbingers of both climate change and my own neglect can whip up a curse that I will never be able to exorcize, that will not even allow me into some uneasy truce, but will spread unchecked into every corner of the farm until there is nothing left but despair, and then it will curse the despair.
I can’t outpace or outwork or outsmart these demons. They infiltrate the greenhouse through every crack in the plastic and every rotting door frame, like frigid air in the middle of the night. They don’t fear me. They mock me. They mock my labors and they mock my efforts. They watch me charge forth undaunted into the mess, rake and broom in hand, and they laugh. They watch as I redouble my determination, and then destroy two things for every one that I repair. I pray for sunshine, and for rain. I pray for warmth, and I pray for a good harvest, and they send only ravens, perched high atop unfinished greenhouses, and laugh at me as I till the soil.