The Newly Old

It’s getting to be that time in the season where it just feels like nothing is new. Mondays, we meet up at 7 am to plan our big harvest day for the CSA pack on Tuesdays; Wednesday and Thursday are heavy in the fields, with weeding, mulching and planting as our primary priorities; Fridays play out like a demanding party in the packshed, with swarms of workshares washing, bunching and bagging veggies for Saturday markets; Sundays I often stay home and bounce Ella in my lap.

I trudged around Saturday afternoon, unloading the leftover veggies post-market. The mangled tree trunk still stood in the center of our common area from where the storm had taken it down, with the rest of the branches chunked and strewn about. Chairs, bins and crates lay scattered around in various states of disarray and entanglement. Our mangled, barely functional pull-cart rested in the path. The busted wheel hoe lay in the granary. Random objects scattered themselves about in the saw-dusted workshop. Yep, nothing new.

But hey, there are actually shelves in the workshop now, I noted as I unloaded the market goods from the Ray. The hemp paddock has been totally and thoroughly mulched after multiple months of procrastination, and now more closely resembles a hemp jungle. A Brute of comfrey leaves now ferments and liquefies, slowly transforming into a nutrient-dense spray to boost our tomato plants. The Brute sits next to our actual compost piles, which are now nice windrows that we can turn using our new old Bobcat skidsteer, hopefully providing a substantial boost to our spring plantings next year.


Back towards the packshed, I walked past the fenced-in paddocks in which our pigs and chickens now rotate; bearing some semblance to a relatively legitimate grazing operation. The grasses actually look pretty healthy, I noticed as I trucked the market compost out to the piggies. It now included carrot tops and beet greens, and our Appleton customers had been delighted with the diversity and quality of the wholesome, organic veggies we now bring to the table.


At the roadside, our three hoophouses stand proudly, where last summer there had been only garden plots; the summer before an overgrown hay field. Two of the houses serve as protection for our now rooftop-tall tomatoes, the other is a mowed plot of former snap peas, and future late-season zucchini and cucumbers.


Back at the packshed, our new puppy, She Who Has Not Yet Been Named, jumped up on my legs as I sat and counted our market revenue. Our financial books are now up-to-date, with an actual budget and deposit records.

I finished counting the bills just as Fanni and Ella arrived to head out to the swimming hole. As we left the driveway, I looked out upon our handsome south hay field; looking relatively manicured after our first successfully-timed cutting/raking/baling – a staggering success given the issues we’ve had with equipment, timing and weather. In the backseat, my daughter worked on pulling her nook out of her mouth repeatedly, while my wife and I talked about the day’s market revenue from her new bakery, Maple and Sage. Yep, I reflected as I reached back to reinsert the nook into our three-month-old’s mouth for the third time, I guess some things are new after all.