THE CHANGING OF THE SEASON IS PALPABLE; cool nights and warm days bring on the ripening abundance. Verdant growth gives way to the fruits of harvest as different plants cycle through the season. Vibrant transplants of fall crops take the place of worn out summer crops in a rapid choreography that changes the face of the farmscape with a rhythmic consistency.
We cycle through the annual row crops, while the many polyculture species interspersed throughout the garden riot in carefree abundance. For it is a dance; interdependent steps in an intricate composition; the opus of life.
Each trip around the sun we gain knowledge of self and purpose, becoming wiser with age.
I think about the joy of shared journey and effort. Building community is the essence of human commonality, a deep need within us all. The industrialized world has changed the meaning and structure of human togetherness; old ways fade into the past; new possibilities arrive.
I enjoy the opportunity to gather and converse; there is so much to learn and so many avenues to study! I relish discussion and a chance to gain knowledge and perspective; every encounter carries a lesson. Humans come with such variation of worldview that there is endless potential for deeper insight.
Like fractals, any avenue of study carries an infinity of increasing granularity; there is always more to be learned. Weaving together different areas of study creates a strong rope that tethers perspective to reality. The more open and inquisitive we can be, the more broad become the strands of the rope.
Perspective and reality exist in mutual tension; the self resolves that tension through a variety of lenses. We each see meaning and truth through different eyes, though there are basic commonalities of justice that serve as foundational tenets. Presence is the art of aligning perspective and reality, creating a platform for right action.
We humans are learning and becoming at an exponential rate; with this kind of rapid pace both order and entropy expand faster then in the past. Will our Promethean instincts lead us to a hell of repetition or will we escape the wrath of Zeus? Even as chaos threatens world systems of government, a reimagining of food systems and regenerative land-use practices holds a flame to the darkness.
Are we smart enough to save ourselves or will the sun scorch us off this mortal coil? The answer lies many years before us; I will not live to see the end result. We are three generations into the travesty of the industrial paradigm, and we will be three generations traveling out of the darkness.
The light of day is but faint, yet it is there in the distance. I am glad for the opportunity to strive towards it, like a moth towards the flame. We take small, measured steps; we seek wisdom of place through the food we eat and the people with whom we interact. We take pleasure in the beauty of the moment as we find it, and we revel in the bounty that grows stronger season by season.
Tender fall greens are beginning to come in, while summer still provides tomatoes and beans, peppers and eggplant. Basil and cilantro cross paths for the only time in the year, as the mildness of temperature in each direction works in their respective favors. Squash and cucumbers are winding down and winter squash are finishing up. We’ll be undersowing cover crop and planting out head lettuce and brassica starts this week as we approach the equinox. Much love and appreciation to you as we share this journey!
Casey O’Neill co-operates HappyDay Farms, a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises two acres of Sun&Earth and DEMPure Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. He is stoked about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers and works to support Mendocino County policy-makers in crafting sensible regulations. You can find his radio show on podcast at HappyDay Farms - Farm and Reefer Report on iTunes or Soundcloud.