It has been a weekend of glorious weather and celebration here on the farm.  First birthday parties for both Frankie and Ollie meant a great time was had by all.  There is a sizeable cohort of little ones all about the same age, and it was a joy to spend time with little people and the big people who care for them.  The next generation is marching (or learning to walk) into the future, as our generation has now become the parents, aunts and uncles.

        There is much food for thought in the passage of the mantle from one generation to the next.  As we arrive in the time of our power, our parents sit back and enjoy the experience of the transition.  I reflect on the continuum of life, the inevitable passage of time, and I am grateful for friends and family.  To celebrate young life in community is to experience the deep connection that comes from having passed from childhood into adulthood together.  

       As we grow and learn, we have opportunity to pass these lessons on to the younger generation; I am glad for the opportunities to come.  I look forward to helping teach my nephew about farming, and I enjoy the chance to spend time with him. He sees the world through new eyes, which provides example and lesson for my own journey.  

       I had to quiet the monkey mind from chattering about the work that could be done during such beautiful weather.  It felt good to make a conscious choice to engage in full acceptance of celebration and to set aside work for another day.  There have been too few days off thus far this year, this weekend was a necessary respite.

      I am reminded that work will always be there, but some milestones come once in a lifetime.  Ollie will never turn one again, and I am reflecting on the importance to hold space and time for celebration and family.  It is a lesson that I am gathering into my psyche and seeking to translate into my planning and time management processes. It feels weird to have to schedule downtime and celebration; life has become much more regimented and busy than I ever expected.  I find that if I don’t make a conscious effort to schedule downtime, then all the slots get filled with work and I struggle with burnout and frustration.

       We have an old dialogue in our family about “martyr mode”, grinding  on the work without enough care and thought for the other needs of life.  It is important to step back from the grindstone and breathe in the scent of spring and appreciate the warmth of the sun.  Balance is needed in work and play, but it can be difficult to achieve.

      Baby chicks are growing fast, as is the lush green of the pasture.  In a couple of weeks we’ll be moving both the laying hens and the chicks onto pasture, rotating the chicken tractors to make best use of the forage and minimize potential for erosion.  Providing birds with fresh forage keeps them healthy and makes them happy.

      The seed start hoophouse bulges with trays and pots, and the first round of broccoli, cauliflower and collards will go out this week.  We’ll also transplant the second round of boc choi and head lettuce, along with the remaining beets that have not yet found a home. We also hope to plant out thirty trees of varying species while the soil remains soft and moist.  

       As we cross into April, the riot of spring abundance begins to run with full force.  Growth explodes as the sun rises higher in the sky each day, and the sap is running in the trees.  Flowers bloom in fragrant celebration and flashing color that lights up the landscape. The ample rains have provided well for spring growth, and the land is a saturated sponge.  It is a joy to venture forth into spring, and we are glad for the journey!