I feel like we are living in la-la land of late.
The berries are ripening, and there are bunches of red on the bushes. However, there are no berries on the ground so it is not time to pick.
But it will be soon.
And despite my original panic, we don’t seem to care. We are staying up late, and sleeping in. The machines are still in the shop and not fully assembled. The flats are unexamined and unwashed. The only preparation we have discussed is whether the outhouse is stocked and ready.
Woot, woot! We have toilet paper and hand soap. Let’s pick berries!
The rest of the stuff will fall into place…with a little sweat, and elbow grease.
This is a great contrast to the earlier years of our farming experience when we anxiously anticipated harvest as our ship coming in! Income time! The likely record-breaking production that we had toiled over and prepared for all year!! We couldn’t wait!!
After a few years of that anticipation yielding some bitter disappointments, our attitude turned to fear of what would go wrong this time. Our preparation was a frantic effort to stave off disaster. If we addressed every eventuality, surely we would avoid another bitter disappointment.
It made us crazy! -- And it didn’t guarantee the results we sought anyway.
It seems we have reached the resignation stage…Harvest is coming. It may be good. It may be bad. It will be…and we will be ready…sooner or later. Some berries that could have been in a flat might end up on the ground…whatever. We’ll get most of them.
We are getting old…and perhaps wiser, finally.
Lately, people have been asking me, “How are the berries doing?” I realized that I now don’t have an answer for that question like I used to. I used to know the health of the bushes, and the strong vs. weak areas, and had pursued finding a long term forecast, and rumors of what the price point may be. Now I can only say, “Well, the bushes look good…” but I know that I have no idea how well the season will go. There are a lot of berries out there, but that doesn’t guarantee a good season. Lots can happen between this moment, and when the last of the fruit comes off the bush. I pay no attention to price rumors anymore because we won’t know, until the fruit is in the freezer, what the price turned out to be…
Whatever…We’ll deal with it. We’ve got our system. We’ve got our crew. The outhouse is ready to go. If the roller coaster is headed downhill, we’ll ride it. It will come up again.
In the meantime, we will not make ourselves crazy…though we are probably going to make ourselves pretty tired next week when we have to catch up the things we’ve been ignoring.
In that case, we will hold on to Farming Mantra #2: “Could be worse; could be worse…”