Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Over the hill

Yesterday was the longest day of the year, so that means the days now start getting shorter and more reasonable.  The work and the day length don't match in our business.  Now, we have light until 11 but we can usually wrap up all the tasks by 9 pm.  In August, we work from the moment the sun cracks over the horizon until I consider getting my headlamp because it's too dark to see.  I would give anything to have light until 11 in August!

I've been wanting to write for a while but haven't gotten to it.  Since I was driving home last Thursday night, floating on a high of having a really organized and awesome day getting ready for the market with the farm team.  And then, all of a sudden, a huge owl crossed my path just before I turned into the driveway.  He looked back at me with his creepy owl face as I slammed on the brakes to look at him.

We hear owls all the time, but I've only seen them about 6 times in my life, always at moments of transition or big changes.  When I see them, I feel that I am on the right path.  I'm SO not superstitious, and I pride myself, Richard Dawkins' style, on being a proud athiest.  So, I joke that owls are my spirit animal and don't really believe it, but take sightings as a reminder to reflect on where I'm at and where I'm going.  Earlier that same week, Sherman visited and brought me a beautiful vase in the shape of an owl.  He doesn't know that I love owls.  Synchronicity!

So, where I'm at: Things are rolling along so smoothly right now!  I am LOVING leading a farm team and didn't realize how much I missed managing people until I had some employees/volunteers on the farm.  It's so inspiring to me to get to know people, discover their strengths and figure out how to make the best of their talents.  I am also really looking forward to mentoring our younger staff who are new to the working world.  I credit so much of my success to my parent's work ethic and my first working experience at McDonald's, where I learned how to meet expectations and stay busy all the time.

Monday's egg harvest.  Nest boxes are working!
We had an excellent Thursday harvest day and I was home before dark.  BEFORE DARK!!  Liz and Janelle and I attacked the weeds yesterday and Andrea and I will do the same today.  Dad and I got all the cultivating and discing done, and I even changed the implement all by myself.  Sherman and Sheri visited to see the wreckage last Sunday and we had such a nice visit.  The peas are going to be ready in a few days, a few weeks ahead of schedule due to early planting and a new variety we tried this year.  The eggs are coming out SO CLEAN!!  Look!! >>
(this means no washing eggs, which is a horrible task that I am so glad to not have to do!)
Jon and I are moving forward on making a new deal for the property, so headed to the lawyers' today.

I met some of the members of the extended Frank family last week at the market, and that evening they all got together and tasted my mead, made with Geoff's recipe. Connection and history are so important to me.  It is SO COOL that Sam and I have connected and she is coming to work on the farm this year.  She is the great-niece of our neighbour Jim, whom the mead making was started for.  Dad and I intended to share it with him when the batch was finished, and reminisce about times with his uncle Geoff.  Jim was tragically killed in a car accident just before Christmas, he was our favourite neighbour, and so we are thrilled to have connected with more of the family.  Sam is the sweetest and sent me this photo, along with an email that I couldn't get through reading aloud to Jon without tearing up!  Her Mom Pam also sent a nice note, and so we have some new wonderful people in our lives!

We had a banner day at the Lady of the Lake market on Friday, the first of the season.  We had more product than ever before at the start of the season, and so many customers!  However, we were mega early so as to be prepared, there was never a lineup more than 2 deep, debit went over very well and we sold 7x more than our first market last year!  We were blown away, ran out of a lot of things, and had to go home and harvest more, which is not something we can complain about.  We are so thrilled that Brandon is so supportive of us.  Then yesterday, a customer called just to tell Mom how good the salad mix is!

On a less happy note, last week we also found out that Patmore's is closing and so Jon's job ends very soon.  After 4 years of struggling to get the business back to it's glory and much financial burden and stress, Marci and Dale sold the property which was bought by a car dealership.  So, Patmore's as a business will not even continue after 133 years.  After hearing all season about people coming in, asking their questions, and then proceeding to the Walmart garden centre, it doesn't come as a huge surprise.
The level of disrespect culminated in shoppers being lined up for 2 hours when the sale started on Saturday.  Lots of people "have lived in Brandon 18 years and never shopped here" and decided to come pick at the corpse.  It's human nature, but it makes my blood boil and I don't want any part of it.  Jon and I decided not to partake, though he did bring home a dogwood that he's been admiring all season that he was feeling sorry for after nobody bought it all weekend.  I love my husband so much!!  That he feels sorry for a bush and brings it home, he does the same with fish and stray cats.  We are fortunate to have a few trees and shrubs now on our property from this historic business, and will remember the nice time Jon had working there.  We are buying one of their greenhouses also.

Jon has been offered a new job which pays the same and also has benefits, so we will pull through this ok.

If there's one thing I've learned in the bumpy past 2 months, it's not to get too attached to anything because things are changing all the time and that's the only thing you can really count on.  Sometimes all your shit has to burn down and your husband lose his job for things to get better.

A very wise woman with lots of integrity and strength shared this quotation with me yesterday:
"We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the life that is waiting for us"
- Joseph Campbell

So, yeah,  Life is good and we are rollin' along pretty smoothly.  Not sleeping or eating enough but getting lots done and lots of fresh air!  We are in a pretty sweet place right now and looking forward to where things are going!

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