Friday, October 30, 2015

The Season of Re's

  "What do you do over the winter?"
                               Most frequently asked question at our farm.

  I found the answer to the above question while cleaning up our market the other day. Someone had left a reusable bag behind. It had dozens of words on both sides, all starting with "re".

  Winter is the season of  re's.....

   Reweld. The prefix "re" means "again" or "again and again". Any old piece of equipment covers both meanings, adding another "again" in the case of that cobbled together front mounted mower. It is similar to a Lancaster bomber in that it requires 25 hours of maintenance for every hour that it is operational.

  Reestablish. One of the ironies of growing and selling fresh produce is that (sometimes, Karen's edit) after a busy day of dispensing tips on how to best prepare and serve kohlrabi, Swiss chard and kale, we come in exhausted and order pizza. Time to reestablish healthy eating, walking the dog and getting to know my pillow a little better.

  Restore. I have a 1934 Ford pickup that has been in my shop for the last seven years. At my present rate of progress, it might be done by 2034. Time to get it back on the front burner.

  Renew, reconnect. We have forged many friendships at the market over the years. The problem is that it is tough to have much of a quality conversation in seven second bursts on a busy Saturday. We look forward to reconnecting with those friends during the more relaxed days of winter.

  Rejig, retry. Okay, so those eggplants that looked like tomatoes were a bad idea. Still, it's always fun to order new and different veggies from the seed catalogs over the winter to try next spring.

  Rejoice. 2015 was a very challenging year: a late May killing frost followed by a cool, wet June and a dry July and August. All this was followed by an absolutely miraculous warm to hot and just-enough-rainfall September. It ripened our crops to full maturity that looked like a lost cause in the last week of August. If every September was like the one of 2015, we would all want to be farmers. A cause for rejoicing, indeed.

  Remember. I was honored to be asked to say grace at my niece Heather's wedding reception a couple of years ago. The wedding was held in a barn, all beautifully appointed for the occasion. So, in keeping with the theme, I said a grace that was originally carved into the stone lintel of a barn, over a large doorway. It is original to the barn and its owner, and its sentiments are absolutely appropriate for this time of year. It reads:

                 When your barn is well fill'd all snug and secure
                   Be thankful to God and remember the poor.

  I hope that your barn is metaphorically well filled, snug and secure. We all have much to be thankful for living here in Canada. I hope we all take time to remember and do something for the poor and dispossessed around the world and right here at home.


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