• Sarah Elizabeth Smith

All in a Month's Work

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

This Spring was the warmest & driest we've seen in a long time in Southeastern New Brunswick. We've only been working out in the fields for seven weeks or so, but it seems like much longer! We were able to get into the fields two weeks ahead of our normal Spring planting schedule, but the lack of rain in the latter part of May and early days in June had us concerned about the capacity of our well.

We discovered that the old dug well at the front of our property was completely viable and in fact, already hooked up to a pump in our basement that just needed a few new parts to get going again. Jet re-finished the concrete work around the stone well casing and will build a wooden cover after the concrete has set. We also put together a pump and tank system for drawing water from our pond as a back up. It feels good to have two new irrigation sources so we feel prepared for any upcoming hot and dry summer weather like we've seen in the last few seasons.

This gallery shows the progression of field preparation, seeding, growing, tending & weeding that have shaped our daily routine. I find each new growing season reveals the benefits of the work of the past season. Each year the soil is a little bit richer, the perennials are a little bit stronger, our methods are a little bit more efficient and effective. There are obviously set backs and challenges every day as the slugs eat our Beans, flea beetles emerge to chew holes in the Arugula, the deer come too close to the Lettuce patch and the high winds stress young plants, but, as in any craft, the more time spent honing skills - observing and experimenting with different methods - the more we feel in the flow of the practice; The more we live and farm on the land, the better equipped we are to respond to whatever arises and take it all in stride.

This season feels strange - yet busy and fulfilling - as we learn how to farm with a 10 month old baby in tow and process everything going on in the larger world. We're set to begin our first summer CSA on June 17th and are looking forward to harvesting for the Food Depot in Moncton, as part of a large contract with 5 other farms in our area. We plan to offer our Winter CSA and to attend the Fall and Winter Sackville markets .... And all is falling into place ....Though, amidst all the satisfying work & play, there is the surreal realization that life has not continued as "normal" for a huge percentage of people, or that "normal" has always been fraught with oppression and injustice. The global pandemic and the resulting and recent uprising of concentrated emotion, activism, confusion and change have been informing the nature of our intimate and common experiences. At times I feel motivated and enthusiastic and other times I feel paralyzed, worried and sad ..... For Jet & I, our work has been a source of grounding and purpose and a means to retain connection with our family and our community. We try to keep going and to be present with all the chaos in the world, as we do our best to create health and wellness in our immediate day-to-day lives. We do our work in solidarity with all those who work relentlessly to create healthy environments across the globe and to cultivate compassion in the midst of injustice, who fight daily battles, both big and small.

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