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Stop & Go

This year has seemed like a game of Red Light, Green Light. You know the game we played as children. Someone hollers, "Green Light!" You go. "Red Light!" You stop. First person to the goal wins. All or nothing. Stop & go.

The pictures above are of the same thing. Do they look the same? Maybe. They just have different perspectives. The first on is looking at what is directly in front of the camera. The second one looks beyond the closest object into the distance. This is the same in farming. Seeing what is happening now while gazing into the future.

This place. This homestead. This farmstead. This is the place where we glance back at the past while we stand in the present. Then turn our eyes to what is to come. Winter is my time to stop. To really come full-stop & take stock in what we have gained & lost over the last 4 seasons.

In the gardens this year we lost ALL, & I mean all, our green, yellow, purple, bush & pole beans to hungry rabbits & groundhogs. We didn't have a lot of apples due to an early frost. I didn't get the last of the broccoli & kale due to an early freeze. We lost 2 baby goats this spring. The loss of those 2 little goat kids broke hearts here. The heirloom purple potatoes didn't do as well as what i hoped for. A couple of baby chicks & turkey poults died shortly after arriving to the farm.

Loss is difficult to understand & accept. The "why did it happen?" & "What could I have done better?" questions take your mind hostage until you either succumb to the thoughts that resonate that you are a failure. Or you tell those ugly questions that you don't have to listen, just learn from them. Then move on.

Today I took a walk in our upper fields & fence rows. My friend, Alana, from Black Valley Farm asked me where the orchard that we've been planning was going to be located. So i went to take a few pictures to show her the place where I will hopefully be picking apples for sauce, pies, crisps, butter, jams, chutneys, snacks & more. I let myself stand in the middle of the future & day dream for just a while until the biting wind beckoned me back to the present.

A hope & a whisper is all that orchard is right now. Hopefully this spring it will be a fledgling orchard that with last beyond my lifetime & remind the younger generations to look back when it was all just a dream & a prayer.

This old soul is all that is left of the original orchard that was here before this land was acquired from my husband's grandfather. It is what his family calls a spice pear tree. It will not be long before it will serve it's final purpose, warming our home.

As continued to walk around the fields looking at the past & present, I strain to see what might be h