Putting The Farm to Sleep
By Bob Walker and Kristy King
AS THE GROWING SEASON COMES TO AN END AT KATCHKIE FARM, TRACTORS ARE PARKED IN THE SAME PLACE FOR DAYS.
Bare trees surround us, the last of our vegetables have been harvested, the cover crops are planted and equipment is cleaned. Not only will the temperature drop and the landscape change, but so will the tasks and thoughts. It’s a shift to a different lifestyle; dirt and diesel will be replaced with computers, spreadsheets, repair manuals and welding sparks.
Now the work moves indoors by reviewing crop records- what worked, what didn’t. Creating parts lists – what needs to be repaired or replaced, thoughts of what or how to improve systems like planting & harvesting methods or pest management, searching for new varieties, and attending workshops.
It’s also a time to take a walk without the purpose of making the TO DO list.
Winter is a farm’s healing season, when the influences of animal, plant and mineral combine in a balancing rhythm of expansion and contraction, soaking up earth energy and preparing to burst forth at the first hint of lengthening days.