Sunday, June 26, 2011

Foggy, Misty Morn

57° and foggy, misty, damp and quiet this morning. I am reminded of Carl Sandburg's Fog

The Fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then it moves on.

Our fog is lifting ever so slowly but off to the west, the clearing sky offers hope of a sunny day. That's good as I have already accomplished lots but have a long list for today.

I was at the nursery at 5 to drive the tractor home for chores that need to be done here. I would love a trailer so I could avoid the drive. Back in winter I felt that this would be the season for purchasing a trailer. Now that's but a dream as customers are few and far between and just paying the pre-season bills has become a chore. I really do not care what the economists say, Vermont is a mess and the country is even worse. Things were bad enough before all the natural disasters and there's little doubt that many more businesses will fail. I don't think we'll be one of those but some days recently it has taken a lot to open the gate not knowing if anyone will drive in. Just the same, you still see a smile from Gail and me when you stop by. We're like that. We don't give up.

Last night Gail left the nursery at almost 5:30 while I was hosing down the tractor and getting the mower deck set up for today's journey. Essentially we were closed but half the gate was still open. I heard a car stop at the gate and I waved "Come on in" not knowing who it was. We are often known as "givers of good directions" and weekends during the summer finds us helping out someone most every day.

This was a farm lady and some members of her family heading back St Johnsury way after a one day escape from the farm. Farmers don't get many days like this and when they do, they pack in as much as they can. After only a brief conversation I knew I liked her. She inquired how we got through the flood and we shared bad stories while describing our need to persist. She farms a 100 cow diary and I farm flowers but the work is still 24/7 and the rewards are impacted by weather and the economy. Flowers are seasonal for us and a great deal easier than dairy, goats, sheep or even beef farming.

Like many farms, this family relies on maple syrup production as part of its bottom line. The lady said that the crop was very good this year (State set a record of over 1 million gallons produced) but sales have been down. I hadn't given it much thought but when times are tough, even something like a gallon of syrup for home cooking, baked beans and pancakes, takes a back burner to fuel for the tractors and Gramma's medicine. The farmer described how the first cutting of hay, baled in those big white wrappers, went bobbing down the river during the flood. The remaining hay and corn fields were covered in silt and gravel and subsequent hay harvests meant wearing protective gear because of flying stones and dust. I commented that the governor's big deal about making Vermont McDonald's sell their breakfast pancakes with Vermont maple syrup still left most all sugar makers with a bad taste for the media hype that politicians love. I didn't expect an answer to my opinion but I got a smile that said it all. As the family drove away, I dropped my wave and wondered if Vermont politicians really know what it takes to run a business in today's world.

I finished with the tractor and began walking the final tour I take every night before I leave. Have to make sure no tools are left around, hoses are shut off, pump closed down, walkways clear, garden carts cleaned and ready for the next day. A new Siberian Iris on the front table had just opened and I tested my memory on the name. I kept wanting to say Lavender Mist but then remembered that Lavender Mist is the name for a Thalictrum I like. The iris was Pink Haze. I stared at its beauty but kept asking myself about the name. It really isn't pink at all. What do you think?

Gotta scoot!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Gail is telling me she's ready to leave. I have no choice but to get going as my truck is already at the nursery. As you're out and about today, stop by and say hello. Along the way you might notice that blackberries are in full bloom and suggest a good crop. Thimbleberries are just starting to bloom and although they aren't on my list to pick and eat, they have a nice color that some day I will paint. If you don't know them yet, check them out.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

1 comment:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Pink? No way.