Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Not Winter Everywhere

"'There is only one way to learn,' the alchemist answered.  "It's through action.  Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey."
- Paulo Coelho


On the surface it may seem as though farming and finance are two completely opposite fields, but when looked at from an objective perspective, I've realized that they are actually one in the same; life IS a farm.  Whether up in the greenhouse or in some mediocre, yet strangely expensive restaurant in midtown Manhattan (with floor to ceiling windows of course), I am sowing seeds and cultivating relationships.  Relationships that in one way or another will help me progress.  In which field I choose to progess is a totally different question, but the values and principals can be applied to both.  The nature of these relationships is based partially on factors that are in my control i.e. time and passion, and partially on factors that are out of my control i.e. judgement and drought.  Now judgement and drought may appear different, but when you take a step back and really think about these two, you can see that...

they too are one in the same.  We cannot control other people's judgements of us just as we cannot control the weather, but we can adjust to work with the cards we are dealt.  If I can't get a client to buy into what I'm selling and gives me the cold shoulder, I have to change my approach.  If the winter weather freezes the soil preventing most plants from growing outside, I also have to change my approach. 

If I want these plants or clients to buy into my philosophy, I'm going to have to learn to better communicate with them.  Sometimes communicating is not about the words being spoken.  There is a communication that must take place between the farmer and the plant, yet the language is not one of speech, but instead one of listening and for a guy who talks as much as I do, I've learned that listening can be quite a powerful tool. 

After over a year of only weekends on the farm, a lot of curiosity has built as to what exactly goes on during the week.  A lot of questions can easily pop up in your head when you spend several hours in a cube facing Windows, but no windows.  What would it be like to work up at the farm during the weekdays?  So much changes in between each Saturday.  With the short winter days in full effect, cubing all day, as I like to call it, and walking out into a pitch-black 5pm sky can really put a damper on things.  So instead of continuing to ask the same questions, I decided to experience some answers and finally got in my first weekday session up at the farm.  It's funny how a tiny shift in a seemingly typical week can change my whole perspective on things.  Like a good club sandwich, I slapped some Lettuce and a few days at the office in between 3 whole grain slices of farm action.  Although I was only able to get in a few hours during the week, it was well worth the trek.  

Looks may be deceiving as the quiet snow covered fields and pastures look frozen and lifeless;

however, once inside the greenhouse, a whole other world exists.  One filled with vibrant colors and Deep Purple carrots.  They look almost identical to the sweet mini Mokum carrots we've been accustomed too, but they take a much longer time to mature.  Even the greenhouse can't prevent mother nature's time to rest and the cold soil slows plant growth.

Patience is a virtue...

When the sun finally does make it's way through, the entire greenhouse illuminates with life and that my friends, is a week well lived.


  1. Great images and words!
    Looking forward to continuing the conversation on the 13th.


  2. you have got a wonderful weblog here! do you want to make some invite posts in this little blog?