With the simple flip of a page, the calendar now reads 2019, and the first season on the farm is over. Whew. What a year. And yet, so much more that needs to be done.
This was our first year, and much of our focus was on learning and building infrastructure. To recap our infrastructure renovations we:
- Built 300 feet of low tunnel space
- Added a 16×20 high tunnel
- Converted the old carport into a product workshop with a raised wooden floor and powered by solar
- Converted half of the old Smoke House into a Flower Cooler
- Opened another 2 and a half acres of growing area
- Cleaned, organized, and messed up the barn numerous times
And meet our most recent addition – a 90 x 30 high tunnel. This was a project that had been put off as a result of the health concerns. It is incredible to have it off of the plate.
We will start with Tulips, Ranunculus, Anemones, Daffodils, and Paper Whites. This summer, the tunnel will be loaded with Lisianthus.
The Farmhouse itself has undergone a pretty drastic change as well. The most recent update has been the kitchen. This summer the floor was replaced – it was falling in.
I would be remiss to not recount the personal journeys that have been a companion on our journey this season. Fear, Doubt, Pain, Patience, Failure, Triumph, Joy and so many more partners that have been with us to shape our year.
We participated in several Farmers Markets, meeting friends both new and old. We shared fresh flowers, and enjoyed so many smiles. The money is nice (and necessary), but warm smiles are so important. I can’t count the number of times someone would look over at our booth and smile. That never failed to make my day.
I struggled with how this story would end. How can you recap such an important part of your life, the joys and struggles in a few sentences. How do you discuss the improvements without seeming to be bragging – nothing could be further from the intent.
The answer came on December 28th, as I sat at a long table, surrounded by 23 members of my Fathers family – four generations. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Second Cousins. As the laughter subsided, I was struck by the thought of my Grandmother and Grandfather sitting in heaven with my Uncle and smiling down at the gathering. It was then that the realization hit of how this season on the farm was but a ripple in time, a small piece of a larger puzzle. Our lives, like the land is constantly changing. Granddaddy and Mama Crout as I knew them raised three honest and hard working sons who became incredible men, and a daughter who is compassionate, loving and tremendously resilient. The values that were taught in the old log cabin were taught to a new generation and we are doing our best to pass those on to the next generation.
As these words go from mind to screen, the new season on the farm has already begun. Tasks that must be done to prepare for spring are in motion. Seeds being ordered, ground being prepared, customers being sought. But even as one season ends and another begins, we are reminded of the seasons of our life. Each man’s life touches so many others, and while our time on this earth is limited, our words, our actions, the influence we have is felt even as our season is finished.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.