The Crop Report Week 44 | Bittersweet
- Nov 04, 2021
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This week has been harder than most. If you have been following our day-to-day life, you may know that Dude, one of our dogs, passed unexpectedly. When these heartbreaking things happen, I find comfort in the loving and caring space created by our Harmony Harvest family, which includes all of you.
We laid Dude to rest atop the hayfield, where he could endlessly watch over the land and the birds that he loved so much. At dusk, my family collapsed in the house after our little funeral, and as we did, a cold yet gentle rain settled into the land. It felt symbolic- as if Dude’s soul was being soaked back into the fields. Each garden, each plant, each blade of grass nourished with his spirit and protection.
The irony of Dude's passing just as a killing frost is expected isn’t lost on me either. He faded from the landscape just as our flower fields are about to do the same. While the work is usually tiring, the somber feel of the tasks is closer to the heart this go-round. We are doing the work with gratitude though, for the bounty of the crops and memories made among the pathways.
The spring field is filled with small plants, but the rows are interrupted by hoops and sandbags as we wait for the soil temperature to drop low enough to pull the frost blankets over. The lingering summer fields look exhausted as we strategically leave the last strong crops and remove everything else. We're hauling off the haggard plants and stubs of roots to the compost and preparing for a big brush fire campfire-style party to cleanse the last of 2021.
Our dahlias haven’t died, but the weak blooms tell me they are done. We will be removing our support system, cutting off all the plant growth for the fire, and covering the tubers in-ground to winterize them instead of digging this year.
As night temperatures drop, we are cleaning tunnels and storing or planting all of our bulbs and tubers. Ice-covered blooms will soon appear, and the land will revert to the dormancy of winter.
While it has shifted to a darker and quieter time, there is also lots of beauty to be seen. From Dude’s overlook, he can see the rainbow of color from our mum house, a project he has been by since March. As one of our farmers said, the best word to describe life right now is “bittersweet.” The mums are blooming, the heated greenhouse ranunculus and anemone crops are vibrant and green, and our historic drying barn is swoon-worthy with dried flowers and wreaths. There is lots of beauty to be seen even in the darkest of times.
Life on the farm isn’t always easy, but it is filled with love, care, and magic. The work we do feeds souls and this week, when I had to take care of my own, the farm provided. As death surrounds us in many ways, we lean into what that means as we go forward. Winter will set in, but we will find beauty to focus on while everything around us is silent. Spring will be here before we know it, and a new cycle of life will bloom.
- xoxo, Jess