As we work around the farm there is a good deal of time spent alone on various tasks. It is not uncommon to overhear in the distance someone listening to their current audio book or pod cast. I tend to get on a jag about a specific subject and listen to everything I can find related to the topic. This spring it has been the environment that has caught my attention. I have listened to several different angles of discussion but the one I found most interesting was a look at human interaction with our surroundings since we have been around. You don’t need me to tell you that we have had some pretty substantial impacts on the environment. There are some parts of the discussion that make you wonder what folks were thinking, others that poke holes into our common understanding of things, and others that have really been positive. There are a lot of opinions on our future and where we will end up, it is all a bit overwhelming to take in.
This week things dried up enough to get into the fields and begin the outdoor growing season. Four years ago, we completely overhauled our growing operation, taking a completely different approach to using our ground to produce healthy crops. We had been fighting the ground for results and it was clear we couldn’t keep this up. Frankly, it was just too difficult. There are enough challenges in the day without having the ground resisting your efforts. Our exact strategy is another discussion and really my purpose here is just offer a bit of encouragement.
Tillage of the ground has been all but eliminated but each spring the raised rows are lightly turned to mix in organic matter, last years weeds, and to reset the rows for planting. When I was finished with that task this year, I looked back at the field with amazement. Our entire growing area was comprised of dark black soil with great texture. Just four years ago it would have been more suited to making bricks. In the picture, the right side is an area of soil outside our growing area, what a difference. I text the picture to Laura and true to form she responded so profoundly, “Wow, there is so much potential there.” That thought has been bouncing around in my head since she said it, now I am looking everywhere for that same effect.
I understand this is quite anecdotal but any of you are welcome to come stand in the middle of my anecdote and see for yourself how although many issues surrounding our day-to-day involvement with our environment seems too large to solve, or that we have passed a tipping point, each of us can add to the positives if we make the effort.
2020 was a year, wow what a year. Even in all the chaos that exposed so many weaknesses in many of our daily way of living there, is so much potential to enjoy and care for our environment. As the growing season gets started, I encourage you to look for opportunities to grab hold of the potential around you and build an anecdote of your own.