This sleepy, rainy weather is such a stark contrast to the drought conditions we’ve experienced over the past few months. We were beginning to watch our fields crack; lines of separation sprawling from one bed to another as our plants wilted and struggled to grow. All of our gardens were beginning to look like mini deserts with backdrops of trees losing their leaves early under the stresses of aridity. Our harvests for market were slowly shrinking and we were beginning to worry that the fall growing season of gorgeous greens, roots, and spicy flavors was going to give way and slowly wither from frenzied thirst. Desperate times call for desperate measures and for many days Elliot and I could be found out in the field carrying buckets and watering cans all over the farm in hopes of quenching the roots and leaves of our most delicate plants and germinating seeds. Fortunately, just in time, rain has finally come. I remember waking in the middle of the night to the first pitters and patters of life giving water on our roof and feeling a deep sense of relief and appreciation.
October has proven to be a very busy month for the two of us. Elliot has spent hours on the tractor in Buckhead, Georgia at our new farm getting the growing space ready for a winter cover crop. After several different tractor implements tore through the thick, healthy sod of the pasture, it was finally time for a fresh, leveling till that would allow our cover crop seeds the proper growing medium. Following a full Sunday of tilling and homemaking, we walked the two acres in lines with seed buckets strapped to our bodies until the sun had completely descended below the horizon. I was tired and sore, feeling the weeks in a row we’ve gone without a single day of rest, but I found myself at peace. Bats left their perches inside tree bark and took over the evening sky, the cows in the neighboring pasture gently hummed and settled into their sleepy groups, Bell, becoming somewhat nervous of the falling sun, attached herself to my side and did her best to keep up as we quickly walked the field.
Our transition to the new property is nearly real as we intend to move the limited furniture we have and our chickens from the camper in Douglasville to our house in Morgan County next week. With the little that we own, it will likely feel as though we are camping inside the large, spacious house. Like a broody hen I have developed nesting fever, endlessly pondering the placement of items utilitarian and decorative. At our usual stops in hardware stores I find myself looking at lamps and light fixtures and considering the ambiance each would add to particular rooms or how they would look against the somewhat outdated textures and color schemes of the house. Most of these thoughts are just dreamings as Elliot and I have no intention of buying anything new and our home will be made of recycled goods of all kinds donated or discovered and acquired very slowly.
As the cooler weather sweeps into our lives we realize that like most things in nature, it is time to slow down. With no fields of vegetables to tend to this winter, our energy will be spent planning out our growing space, fixing up our home, planning out the lambing and kidding season, spinning wool, writing, reading, collecting CSA members, meditating, and reviving our bodies and minds with plentiful rest. This work we do to the point of exhaustion comes with no economic gain and many capitalist headaches, but the lifestyle we live and the community we contribute to everyday is invaluable. With every step taken towards our own self sufficiency, I know that I am learning from experience and rattling ancient wisdom from the soil with my own two hands.
“The problem is that man’s conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we’ve attained, we don’t have enough mastery to stop devastating the world–or to repair the devastation we’ve already wrought. We’ve poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit–and we go on gobbling them up. It’s hard to imaging how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody’s really doing anything about it. It’s a problem our children will have to solve, or their children.” – Daniel Quinn