Em's Acres: A horse powered farm
Every year at the end of summer, the whole ranch is buzzing in anxious anticipation of the autumn version of the “Glen”, swollen with bunches of apples and crowds of people. It’s all hands on deck. Everyone is setting up new stands, coming up with new ways of controlling traffic flow, ordering new product, and the list could go on. However, out in the garden a different kind of excitement is blooming. Its a quiet and slow kind. Theres a small amount of rushing, but in the end you can’t rush nature. This is the excitement of harvest.
As my Grandpa would say; “working in the land is good for the soul because theres an ebb and flow. Each new season brings new joy, new delight, and new hardships.” Summer seems to be the largest test of your endurance as a farmer. Between spending long days in the sun with a hoe, the bloody blisters that form a girl’s hands into a man’s in the course of a day, trying to keep crows and gophers away from your crops and waterlines, repairing waterlines constantly, and just trying to keep ahead of it all. All the time worrying that nothing will grow at all: that some bad weather will come through, or some crazy pest and take away all of your hard work, money, and hours of your life spent on this project.
Then, in the blink of an eye, the endless summer is over and fall begins. The long days shorten and the hot days cool, like a small and natural reward. This new season is the most exciting one in my opinion. All of the hard work is beginning to pay off! Literally and figuratively. As I put my heads phones in, serenaded by Bob Dylan or Eddie Vedder, I go out at around dusk to pick zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, or something of the sort. I can’t help but feel this new and unusual sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s pride of the unusual sort because I know that in the end it was the work of the Lord in the land that brought this harvest. All that I, or anyone else, did was to try our best to keep things watered and healthy. The human part was so minimal and yet, here it is!
After picking, I load the produce in the wagon and drive the horses slowly along the dirt roads back to the store where I’ll wash and pack the veggies. Even the horses seem to have a new energy and sense that this season has something different to offer than the last.