Coming off the heels of our farm festival, I am reminded of how important it is to work together or, more importantly, how important each piece is to completing the puzzle. Our annual festival and our weekly “box of good” only happen because people come together and complete the puzzle.
Accomplishing these two things is much easier when it is not the farm season. The farm season, at times, seems like a tidal wave crashing upon us, especially when we are planting, harvesting, weeding and trying to maintain some semblance of family life. As the farmer, I am constantly surprising my team with extra vegetables or fruit that they were not planning for because I happen to discover a patch of strawberries or onions or spinach that is ready earlier than I expected. My team is very nimble and can change menus and directions in seconds.
The other day was a prime example of teamwork. Maleah and I are the flower farmers. We have a system in place when it is time to pick flowers. She runs around and gets the asters, cosmos and dahlias and I get the sunflowers, amaranth, calendula, marigolds and straw flowers. She has quite an eye for picking beautiful flowers. Well, the other day she was at a sleepover birthday party and had left earlier that afternoon. The rest of our family was doing some last minute weeding and harvesting for the festival. Maleah and I always start harvesting flowers about a half an hour before dark. Of course, out of habit, I started the flower harvest like normal. At that moment I thought to myself, “What was I thinking, letting Maleah go to a birthday party during harvest time?!?!?” I ran around cutting my usual flowers and then I ran around getting Maleah’s usual flowers, barely finishing as the sun left the horizon. Then it took twice as long to bunch them.
That night, I experienced the importance of my seven year old’s help. I got the flowers harvested and arranged, but pinch hitting for Maleah isn’t nearly as much fun or efficient as working with her. I will still let her go to birthday parties, but I will definitely start earlier next time!
Farming as a family and a team,