Winter Mercy

-Erika Rumbley
20160119_112811I write to you from the glowing, empty greenhouse.
Winter at Langwater Farm is surprisingly bustling. Each week we haul thousands of pounds of vegetables out of storage and harvest greens. Beets are washed, sweet potatoes graded and winter squash polished. It’s also the season of planning and digging through our memories. We gather in the barn around a table littered with spreadsheets to learn from the past. Let’s grow more of that fabulous, popular cabbage. Let’s try that new technique for growing flowers between rows of Brussels sprouts. Its not just about growing practices. We set resolutions and make proclamations. We will keep our knives sharp. We will work hard, communicate clearly and believe in each other’s best intentions. 
The farmer’s winter is driven forward by the irresistible belief that this season will be different. Our ideas and ideals will find easy embodiment when the snow thaws. We will re-enact our successes and find solutions to our shortcomings. It’s a new growing season and we’ll carry all the lessons of past growing seasons with us. They will help us see clearly.

In a few weeks, we will heat this greenhouse and fill this space with new life. For now, I’m overcome by a sense of hope in the face of this cleared out space. Oh, the mercy of a fresh start! May you all find ways to start anew as the spring approaches.