This has been a long and ardous year for us here at the Farm. Without the Farmer at the helm much of the time, many of his duties have fallen to me and I will be the first to admit that I am, depending on the task, about 30-50% as good at almost everything that entails. I always appreciated how much he did and how hard he worked, but now that appreciation is 10-fold. However, much of the time this year, it has just been me. I do all the picking, prepping, packing, going to markets. Planting, weeding, etc., I get my share of those chores, too.
While the Farmer has been out of commission much of the time this year, we have had volunteers come out to help on many occasions...and believe me, I am thankful and more grateful than I can express for their help. We couldn't have done many things this year without them. In fact let me take a moment to thank them.
If you have ever grown anything organically...food plants, flowers, etc....than you know that it is a constant dance between man and nature, trying to find that comfortable balance where the chaos is reduced to a level you can live with. Trying to control Mother Nature is an exercise in futillity, so the best you can do is to try to go with the flow. Unless you are using noxious chemicals and implements of destruction that rape, pillage and plunder the land (if you don't get the implication there, I am talking about conventional farming methods....), the best you can hope for is that your dance will be a classic ballet, instead of a frenzied Cossack dance.
Nature is one of the strongest forces in the universe, is in a constant state of flux and always searching for balance. When man attempts to control that force, be it organically or artificially*, it creates a situation in which chaos is invited to the dance. You open even a small void and a horde of things are standing in the wings waiting for the change to fill that void...kind of like the ambitious understudy standing in the winge, waiting for the prima ballerina to break her leg. (I am really enjoying this dance metaphor...totally fits.) Insects, weeds, birds, deer, groundhogs, the neighbor's unleashed dog, disease, fungi, viruses, bacteria, chemical reactions and natural decay....living things and inert substances...everything just waiting for their chance to step into the opening.