“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it you want- oh you don’t quite know what it is you do want but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
Another cold day, the calendar says it’s only one week until Spring. We go out bundled up as if it’s January, knocking solid ice out of the animals water bowls, sometimes the ice is so solid we have to turn the water dishes upside down and jump on them to loosen the ice. It’s been months of this and we are longing for the feeling of a warm spring day, for spring fever to take hold. We get a taste of spring on sunny days in the high tunnel. Yesterday we waited for the sun to warm the frozen ground and the tender greens. When we finally opened the doors to check on the beds it was a balmy 75 degrees. We peeked in under the blankets of remay to see how the tiny plants had weathered the single digits the night before and were happy to find them green and healthy.
My youngest son joins me each morning to tend to the animals and plants after the others have headed off to work and school. He would rather wander and explore the farm and the animals than do anything else. As I came out of the barn the other day to fill buckets of water for the chickens I found Daire’, dressed as a cowboy, working diligently with a small shovel to remove ice from around the hydrant. I often find him and his siblings hard at work and it warms me all the way through, even on the coldest of days to see the children helping with the work of the farm. When I feel discouraged by the endless work and cold I remember how this work binds us together as a family and as a community. The farm is teaching them lessons and skills that will serve them all their lives. I envy them in a way. As a first generation farmer with no past experience I have had to learn most everything from books or by digging in and learning as I go. They have been a part of this learning from infancy and seem to take to it easily, to jump in without fear or hesitation. It gives me hope that they may have the skills and creativity to envision a better world for themselves and future generations. I believe in hard work, I see the results not only in the beautiful crops and strong healthy animals, but in the satisfaction we all feel after a long day. How happy and grateful we are to sit down and share a meal together. The labor of the day melts away as we talk and laugh and share stories and good food. It makes it all worth it.