Here is what our field looks like on the shortest day of the year:
I am so thankful that the ground is frozen and that our field is covered with snow. Now we wait. There is nothing else we can do – no more fantasies of applying late-late-late fall compost, no more second-guessing myself about how much we did or didn’t disc. We can’t get on there and knock back any grasses. We can’t even out the corners of the field to the dimensions we want. There is absolutley nothing we can do until the ground thaws in spring.
The field is gorgeous in the snow. Clean and shimmering, layered with sharp blue shadows, quiet. Our row of garlic is a slight rise in the expanse of white.
Inside, our field map grows fuller by the day, as we lay out where we’ll plant next spring. Inside, our field is bursting with onions, tomatoes, peppers, greens, carrots, beets, lettuce. Inside, on the white-board Representation of our field, everything is getting more complex. But outside, everything is getting simpler. Our field is just a flat piece of land covered with a whole lot of snow. There’s nothing but a slight garlic-hump that even gives away it’s a farm.
There is something deeply calming about that. This is the way the world happens: we work and worry, and in the end, the ground always freezes, and the snow comes, and the field goes quiet for the long dark months. The well-being of our little farm, for now, is out of our hands: nature’s way of telling us to let the land be. We’ve done what we’ve done; now, like everything else does in the winter, we wait, and hope.