As I've remarked upon before, farming necessitates holding two states of thought while going about your daily work.
The task at hand has your full attention; you are present and aware of the now-ness of everything. Clouds, soil, birds. Your knees. Antpiles. Your knees in antpiles. Yet you also think to the future, and consider the actions taken now as shapers of your world weeks, months and years from now. Wherever you'd like the farm to be one day hinges on choices you make today.
The former is vital, even life-saving---a lack of focus can result in transplanting tomatoes into the cucumber bed or botching the spacing between cabbage seeds, but it can also mean accidents. Workplaces that keep chainsaws and machinery with enormous spinning blades are not where you want to have accidents.
Well, hold up. I make it sound like McFarmer and I tiptoe around the farm whispering, "Be present or die!" Not (totally) the case. Living in the now, apart from sounding terribly new-agey, is also really fun.
Paying attention to what's happening under your feet, above your head, in front of your face---it provides a lot of opportunities for laughs. Not just that, but amazement and pleasure. Giant grub sightings always make me laugh. Lime green damselflies lighting on basil that matches their color exactly amaze me. Noticing how gargoyle-like our decoy owl truly is pleases me immensely. He's so...serious.
However, the latter state of thought is the one where you get to dream big and draw pictures in your head.
Building a walk-in refrigerator in the back corner of the barn. Expanding the vegetable garden into the next pasture..."We'll need to run pigs and sheep through there first. And chickens!"
A gangly copse of trees that evolves into a pollinator garden, equipped with both jewel-colored butterflies and comfortable, attractive seating. Oh, and a turtle pond. And precious hand-painted labels telling visitors (in a delightful, informative tone, of course) the family, latin name and medicinal properties of each plant. And cold drinks easily retrieved from the cold cellar kept below said former copse of trees. Pink lemonade. And beer. And snacks. Preferably cashews.
Some dreams are spun for the sake of how much fun it can be to dream them. Others carry actual weight, imbued with the gravity of intention in their "grand designs."
We took a step in that realness direction this week as we began to plan the addition of new fruits into the orchard. Muscadine grapes have already been ordered, and the blackberry order will be done by the end of the week. Alex and I dream of having fruit year round. If everything goes according to plan (which assuredly it won't--remember how I learned my lesson?) then we could have some of these babies fruiting by next summer.
We're already stupidly lucky enough to have grapefruits, lemons and pears on the farm properties. This leg-up makes the dreaming-big part so much easier.
There's a cake to cut into, a slab of marble with an elbow already carved out. We follow that lead and try to honor the cakey marble as best we can. It probably won't end up as The David. It most absolutely will not end up as The David. It'll end up some freaky weirdo with extra appendages, perhaps with an assortment of flagellum or multiple eyes. But it will be delicious.
Full of mixed metaphors, and delicious.