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Let's start with how the farm got its name. I'll be honest naming something isn't easy. There were a lot of good options, but "Wild Goose Farm" has different facets for me. Each facet or side reflects a different meaning for me. I loved that. I wanted the farm name to have meaning.

One meaning is taken from Celtic Christian tradition. These believers looked at the natural world around them and saw God's love and glory revealed. They took symbols from their everyday lives and experiences that helped them understand God. The wild goose came to symbolize the Holy Spirit because it was wild, free, and unpredictable. It was untamable and always on the move. To the Celtic Christians, this was a better picture of how they saw the Holy Spirit working in their lives. God is unpredictable, untamable, and always on the move. I love this picture and I have seen this truth at work in my life as well. Which brings me to the next meaning.

My life has often felt like a wild goose chase. I've had various jobs over the years and have lived in quite a few places. I never had a clear sense of what I wanted to do with my life. The funny thing is that for a while I was sure I didn't want to farm. In fact, I was adamant. Well, look at me now. God definitely has a sense of humor.

Another reason I named the farm "Wild Goose" is from a poem titled Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. There is a sad tone to it but I found the end so hopeful, so uplifting. Here it is in its entirety:

Wild Geese
By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Though at one time I swore I would never be a farmer I feel called to it. As I have started out on this adventure I feel that I am taking up my place "in the family of things." That is the origin of the farm's name. Once again, welcome. I hope you stop by often.

February 24th, 2010

Spring is Coming

Though it certainly looks like winter still, spring is coming. I can feel it. The cold doesn't feel as bitter. I can hear it too. There are more birds out than before. I hear the spring call of the chickadees, "Hey, Sweetie." I've heard cardinals too. On top of all that, the greenhouse is going to be fired up in less than a week! 

It's hard to believe that it's time already for work in the greenhouse to begin. I've been staring at seed catalogs for months now and dreaming of what I'll grow this year. Did you know that seeds have a smell? They do. It's similar to potting soil. Each time I get a seed order I love opening the package and breathing in the scent.  I think of a warm greenhouse on cool spring days, the feel of the potting soil in my fingers and all the possibilities the new season brings.  I can't wait.

Just a reminder that there are still openings in the CSA and the deadline for ordering your own garden plants is coming up in a few weeks!

NOVEMBER 16th, 2009

Closing up for Fall

It is amazing to me that it is fall already. The seasons have flown by on the farm. So much has happened in the Spring, Summer, and now Fall. We had a great growing season. It’s been a challenging experience, but such a worthwhile one. I find that is so often the case; the worthwhile endeavors always involve challenge.

This season was definitely a challenge. The weather threw curveball after curveball. We had a wet spring that wrecked havoc with our planting schedule, a cool summer that caused many crops to be late or smaller than expected, a tomato disease that came much earlier than expected, and a wet fall that disturbed most of our fall planting and fieldwork plans. It just goes to show that there is a good deal of uncertainty in farming. Yet, in spite of all this we had a great season. The crops still grew. We had wonderful vegetables to bring to market and people still came to the markets, rain or shine. This year proved to me over and again that there isn’t room for arrogance in farming. No matter how well you schedule your planting or how well you calculate your needs you cannot control the seasons. You need humility. You need to be flexible. If not there will be much weeping and pulling out your hair. Farming is an exercise in faith.

Thank you to all of you out there who stopped by the stand at the farmers’ markets to chat and support our farm! I had such a great time meeting you and sharing the joy of fresh vegetables with you. Both farmers’ markets were so welcoming and such great places to be. I’m already looking forward to seeing you there next year! Thank you to all the friends and family who faithfully bought vegetables each week. I am so grateful for your love and support.

Now that the weather has turned colder we have put the fields to bed for the winter. Most of the crops are out of the fields and rye has been planted to keep the fields covered in the winter and early spring. The greenhouse has been cleaned up and the tools are put away. Now, before I settle in for a winter nap (a much deserved one too!) I am working on plans for next year. I will take a look at what vegetables I’m interested in growing again and what new crops I’d like to add. The seed catalogs have already started arriving. Can you believe it? I’ll spend time evaluating this past year’s timelines and tweak them for next year. I have to reconfigure my fields and crop rotation. We’ll have some new events next year, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and a pre-order plant sale. (More about those later) So I have some organizing to do on those things as well. Actually, now that I think about it, my long winter’s nap won’t be so long. Keep checking the website for updates throughout the winter.

Til next time!

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