Waning winter weeks

Posted 12/21/22

Its been a long eventful year, and as I fight with many of the same ongoing tasks that make up my day-to-day out here, I can’t help but reflect on the blessings and progress that have been made. 

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Waning winter weeks


Its been a long eventful year, and as I fight with many of the same ongoing tasks that make up my day-to-day out here, I can’t help but reflect on the blessings and progress that have been made. 

It’s easy to forget what’s been achieved and what new ground has been broken when the to-do list stretches as far as one’s ability to keep thinking about it. 

There’s never a dull moment, but in the wake of so many crazy moments back-to-back, I’ve attempted to make time for reflection as we approach the start of a new year. 

For starters, I can’t begin to think about this labor of love without the reason we do it all, which is, of course, my family. It started just before Christmas last year with the birth of my second-born son. His presence has made the past 12 months around the sun all the more hectic and a million times more gratifying, as I’m blessed with his daily smiles, and now his first steps, as he learns and grows alongside everything else. 

Another huge game-changer for us was the purchase of not only our first tractor, but also an additional specialty gardening tractor later in the year. 

With the memory of bringing home this monumental stepping stone comes the bittersweet thoughts of the value of a true friend and neighbor. I of course refer to the late Mr. Russell Googins, who aided in the mechanical overhaul of our first tractor, and ensured a working machine for years to come. It was utterly unexpected when he passed not long ago, and our weekly visits have since become a fond memory. 

I have had the pleasure of more good neighbors and friends than I am owed in a lifetime now, and it was nothing short of a personal honor to have known and learned from the man for even so short a time as it was.

I took a trip like nothing I’d ever experienced to go tuna fishing, my eldest son began helping garden in the field, and we had a record year for blueberries, stretching almost two months long. 

We doubled our garlic fields and managed to successfully fight back against the tyrannical weeds. We finally completed the covering of our greenhouse in the spring, which included a very gratifying weed-control method with a flamethrower.

We brought back chicken coops and started a new laying flock, which has since grown throughout the year and promises good things for the future of our farm. 

We successfully began growing hydroponic lettuce and basil, and learned a good many lessons about seed starting with an abundant yield of seedlings this past spring. Likewise, we learned a thing or two about planting things a bit late in the year—with no protection from the deer to boot. 

We put up a good supply of meat in our own freezer, and through my first year of officially working for my father-in-law, I did the same for his customers at the butcher shop.

In summary, it was perhaps a more eventful year than I had initially considered, given the beginning of new life and the end of others. There was personal growth, the pursuit of old goals, the broadening of the same vision and the humbling pursuit of an honest day’s work. 

The way out here we can’t live in the past, because the future demands our preparation, but the surprises of each and every day make living in the present nothing short of a gift. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but neither do we fear the setting of the sun, as we try to catch a few winks between long days of good wholesome work. 

From my family to yours, merry Christmas and a happy new year. Wishing you blessings from all the way out here.

story, farming, family, gardening


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