© 2014, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm
Cold and Warm
With the temporary rapid snow melt occurring, the ground is workable yet again. Cold and warm, cloudy and sunny. Frozen and forked soil. The earth giveth and taketh. Right now, there is time to replenish the soil and give back to the farm rows and garden beds. In these warm, not yet always frigid December days, it is terrific to continue to work outside. For Giving Tuesday, when folks and businesses can give their time and perhaps funds as well to a non-profit organization, there will be plenty of compost to turn and manure and seaweed to spread onto tired growing areas. These nutrient rich amendments are often available in the paddocks and along the coast. The concept for Giving Tuesday is a nice complement to the taking of the harvest for the large meal last week, but more importantly to counter the Black Friday, shop local Saturday and Cyber Monday initiatives and incentives that go a long way to boost the economy, box stores and local shops. All the effort to shop for these days, it is a good notion to give back to the earth and to those who are working hard to teach, educate and provide important lessons for a just and better community. There could easily be a Giving Wednesday and a Giving Thursday as well, but at the farm, we are delighted to welcome folks for some necessary, helpful and productive work.
Beyond the donated time and generous spirit and gestures (both physical and monetary), as long as the weather holds out, the work continues. The asparagus stalks and ferns need to be cut. The cut and twisted grapevine can be adorned with fresh-cut greens and holly so as to hang on an almost closed big red barn door. There are always buckets of vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and aforementioned manure to collect and turn into healthy compost. There are still some farm gardens and community plots to heel in some garlic for the long Winter ahead. And there are seed orders to consider and starter soil mix to make now in hopes that sweet Spring will be here soon. As neighbors and busy residents rush to prepare for celebrations in late December, there ought to be time to reflect and write about successful crops, areas of opportunity for some others and plans to grow better and wiser next year. The proliferation of outside lights, nestled in the bushes and climbing up the trees (evergreen and without leaves) do provide beauty and glow to the landscape as well. And, as long as the cats do not knock them over, there will be a few candles in the window too. These many illuminations are lovely to behold, as the sun sets so early these days. The lights and time in the evenings also give time for a good book and a chance to catch up on some piled-up newspapers and magazines never read while so busy during the growing season. And whether it is warm or cold outside, the outdoor responsibilities keep us moving and the indoor tasks continue to teach and rest us for the coming months.