There is LOTS of activity on the farm this week as the weather gives us a chance to jump into every project we had hit pause on. But the mile-long to-do list didn’t deter The Trifecta from jumping in the car last Friday for an in-person job offer to our latest recruit.
Mom, Steph, and I left the farm during the quiet early morning just as deliveries were arriving at the farm and headed up the road to New Jersey. The trip was planned on short notice as I succumbed to Instagram and impulsively nabbed a new puppy from a fellow flower farmer and account we love to follow @thecaprineflorist (you should have seen me explain THAT purchase to my husband when he came home that night!)
Late one evening in January I was scrolling through stories and stumbled upon Liz showing the latest litter of available farm puppies and I melted in my tracks. Last year, while our season was in high gear we tragically lost our right arm on the farm, my dog Dude. It was hard, especially for Cassie, our golden retriever, to adjust to life without her companion. Dude’s absence allowed the deer and wildlife to creep back into the farm boundaries and his constant patrol of the grounds has been sorely missed. After some time for our hearts to heal from the traumatic loss, we all found ourselves gravitating towards puppy post after puppy post knowing it wouldn’t take long for the right four-legged farmhand to find us. And she did!
After a 4.5 hours trip, which in reality took far longer (New Jersey roads are NOT like Virginia roads!), we found her. An Anatolian Shephard at just 12 weeks old timidly licked my boot and snuggled right into my arms making the return trip that much sweeter. The bond was instantaneous and Mom and Steph melted along with me. The sweet pup was quickly coined Mercy. If there was ever something I need to be surrounded by it's the power of mercy - any farmer can attest to that.
We returned in the dark, cold Friday night which didn’t phase the very loud and excited welcoming crew that greeted us with all four kids and my husband standing under the porch, giddy to see our newest housemate.
Cassie was far less impressed. While we know she has been grieving her companion, the sudden presence of another animal in her home wasn’t as warmly received as I had hoped. Cassie made her Queen Bee title known by avoiding eye contact with any of us two-legged animals and refusing to be in the same room as the new baby. She found our king-sized bed and for the first time christened it with her downy fluff – passive-aggressive much, Cassie? We provided lots of special treats and longer snuggles and now seem to be turning a corner after our weekend together. Cassie might forgive us but I doubt she will ever let us forget it.
Mercy has taken right to her new life, playing with kids, enjoying dog friends like our head grower’s dog Nacho during the workweek, and learning all the ins and outs of her new home. She is soft and snuggly and permeates the air with puppy breath which makes us all drop to our knees and get a few extra kisses in. Having a “baby” around the farm feels so good. We know the farm will be springing to life soon and we can't wait to grow Mercy with the new flower crops this year.
This week we are continuing with bed prep and compost incorporation, which means I should probably expect a few extra muddy paw prints in the house. We are uncovering spring field rows, and showing puppies how to stay in pathways. We are sowing countless seeds and teaching Mercy how to stay and rest at our feet. Each job this week also serves as our first wave of training and the timing is perfect as we soon will bring many more new faces to the farm to tackle this year's workload.
Each life here is cultivated and grown with purpose and passion. From the seeds we sow to the puppies we snuggle. Welcome home, Mercy, we can’t wait to see you blossom on the farm.