With talk of more snow in the upcoming days, these past two weeks of sunny, warm weather puts the fickleness of the seasons in perspective. But impending flurries or not, there is no doubt that the hustle and bustle of spring has begun on the farm.
This past week was witness to a fantastic assortment of endeavors. Workshops are picking-up, a delicious potluck filled the kitchen mid-week, and an open mic started off the weekend entertainment. In the gardens, carrots and jerusalem artichokes from last fall were plucked from the ground, proving their hardiness. Raspberries, garlic scapes and chives had mulch cleared from their burgeoning leaves; beets, sugar snap peas, and super sugar snaps - among others - were planted. Fast growing tomato plants are quickly growing into larger and larger pots....Weeding is a task as constant as the rising sun.
The sun! It is rising earlier and setting later, encouraging the sweet songs of the feathered realm by morn, and the less-melodious-but-not-exactly-cacophonous speech of dozens of frogs in the dusky evenings.
The frogs, incidentally, have thoroughly claimed the "pond" of the G-Animal pig pen as their territory. Perfect timing, really, as the excitement of the week peaked on Wednesday when we moved the eight pigs residing in the above mentioned pen to their new pasture about 1/2 mile away. Pigs - while cute at one time of the year, and tasty at another - are fat, dirty, fairly ridiculous creatures with a low center of gravity and a distaste for solitary confinement. So you can imagine the process of moving, individually, each oinker from one place to another. We have a wooden crate, pulled by oxen, that makes the actual transport comparably "easy." Getting the pig into the crate is another thing altogether. So. Wednesday afternoon saw a group of four or five of us wrestling pig after pig. Covered in mud and muck, cut-up and bruised, cursing and laughing; sitting down at the end of the day felt like a luxury. But oh so much fun! Some pig riding was even had when a rogue pig tried his own Great Escape.
More than anything, the spring is subtly and insistently showing the importance of process, and of heart. Most of the work we're now engaged in will come to fruition at a much later date. But though we hold to a steady faith in nature's continual cycles of life to death and back to life, it is a joy in the process of the work that rings through the day-to-day efforts. And heart - celebrating that process, working hard, laughing harder, coming together, sharing with each other and our larger community. And hell, chasing pigs, getting dirt beneath the fingernails, enjoying spring's first greens - these are life's little things, yes, but they build the stories and the colors and laughs that fill our lives with gumption and interest. And wonderful it is, that spring is here to remind us. Indeed.