The Order of Things

I woke up Sunday morning with a plethora of energy at my disposal; ready to jump to action. Yep, I thought as I stretched my weary morning muscles, I could imagine myself getting a lot of work done today.

But first, I needed a plan.


After checking the daily and weekly farm emails to no avail, I called and texted around a bit. Reaching no one, I decided to hit my Sunday morning route to the Greenhouse for chores, Main Grain for goodies, and Coop for groceries. I was nearing the Coop when I got a call back from Oren.

“Yeah, so I talked to Danny last night about launching that hoop house plastic later this afternoon; you could put in some prep for that… Yeah, so remember how we disassembled the rollup sides? Just make sure the bolt holes are all facing west, towards the barn. What’s that, Polly?”

I heard Polly’s indistinct mumbles in the background.

“Yeah, Polly thinks we should face them the other way, but I disagree.” The mumbling progressed for a while, and we pressed on.

“So yeah, then you can drill the holes for anchoring; some of them are done, but not deep enough. Do you know which bit to use? Let’s see…”

Mumble, mumble mumble.

“Yeah, Polly thinks it looks like an arrowhead, but I totally disagree.”

He chuckled and continued, eventually reaching the conclusion that we’d launch plastic if we had an adequate crew, and I could put in some prep and broadforking in the meantime. I hung up and spent the next 15 minutes calling every friend and associate in the area, pacing like a madman in front of the Coop. Justin- in. Randy- no answer. Ethan- in after 4. Danny- in, but slightly salty. Jack- out. It seemed like we’d have enough. I got my groceries at long last, walked home and got ready to roll out to the farm for some work.

But first I needed to stop at Oren’s for the new broadfork handles.

Stops at Oren’s can be a bit of a black hole, and when I finally left, much time had passed and we’d determined that the inclement weather of the afternoon would undermine any attempt at plastic launching. Broadforking it would be. I grabbed the new handles and hit the road towards the farm, calling back all my friends and associates on the way. Finally, I pulled into the Rising Sand driveway, stepped out of my car and took a deep, deep breath. Yep, time to get to work. My mind was sharp; body ready for the broadfork.

But first we’d need to pull the plastic tarps off the plots.

“Hey Logan,” I called over to my ambling associate.


“Wanna help me pull these tarps quick?”


We removed the muddy soil heaps and dragged the soggy, smelly tarp off the straw-mulched plot. Underneath, the actual beds were totally indistinguishable from the walking paths, making broadfork navigation all but impossible.


First we would have to measure the beds out.

We trekked back to the granary, grabbed stakes, measuring tapes and string, trekked back out to the field and did our best to line up the edges and plot accordingly.

“So, these were 30’ total, right?”

“Hmm, I think 28’.”

“Yeah, 30” per plot, with a foot between… Ok, lets slide the tape your way a little bit.”

Finally achieving satisfactory measurements, we got the stakes in place and ran the first string across the plot. First bed measured; ready to broadfork.

But first we’d need to fix the handles.

“Hey Logan, wanna help me fix these handles quick?”



So, we drilled, scraped and burned the old handle residue from the fork frame to the best of our ability, inserted and attached the new handles. From there we went our separate ways — he down the hill to the hoop houses to prep the rollup sides, and me to the top plot to fork. I strode triumphantly to the end of the bed, thrust my fork into the soil and jumped on for the first run of the season. The fork sank into the soil like a knife through soft butter. A year of care, and winter of mulch coverage had worked wonders on our soil. Now into season two, it felt marvelous to be digging in again. Time to put in some work.

But first I needed one more slug of coffee.

Walking out to the edge of the plot, I lifted my mug and took a long, satisfying gulp. I returned to my fork, ready to zone in and get physical at long last. An hour later it started raining, so I picked up my tools and went home.