Today is day 13 on Honey Grove Farm, and I must confess that I have a whole new respect for power tools. But, before I begin, let me preface the above by saying that when it comes to most things, I like to live my life the old-fashioned way. You see, respect for power tools was not something I ever had, until today. Our love of the old way is reflected in all areas of our lives. Stepping into our kitchen, can sometimes feel like you have gone back in time. We hand-grind our coffee beans and whisk our egg whites with nothing more than elbow grease and a thrift store whisker. Even our honey extractor is hand crank. Our garden shed has always been much the same, that is, until we moved to the country and the push lawn mower was relegated to the back of the shed.
Yes, when it comes to clearing an acre of overgrown meadow, full of brambles and scattered trees, in order to make a vegetable garden and a place for a greenhouse, push lawn mowers and shovels just don’t quite cut it. And let me also say, that if I knew of a local horse logger, like my good old dad used to be, trust me, I would have found him. So what are you gonna do when you have 4 foot stumps sticking out of the ground that are too big to hand dig, and all the horse-loggers are retired? Well, there is only one thing you can do, you have to call in the “big boys with the big toys,” as they used to say, back in my hometown. There is, in my humble opinion, a place in this world, even for power tools. Even for big clunky giant mad-max type machines, (and I never ever thought I would say that, but time for me to get off my hippy high horse before I fall off). teh heh heh- (Dismounting)
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t cry when the first tree came down. I won’t be telling the excavator driver that I knelt down behind the compost and said a prayer for it either. I won’t deny that I got terribly sad when I saw the drone bees being kicked out of the hive today by the worker bees, so that they might get through the winter with less mouths to feed. Yes, if there is one thing I am learning on the farm, it is that sacrifice appears to be a very big part of agriculture. (and we don’t even have any livestock beyond bees yet). I don’t know if there is ever a way to justify our human taking. I told myself that bringing those trees down was a worthy sacrifice which will allow us to have the space to grow an enormous garden that will hopefully feed us all year round. I told myself of the warmth the wood will create as it burns in our little stove in the cold winter months. In my mind, down some logical pathway, it all seemed okay then for a minute, but in my heart, the sound of a tree hitting the ground will always bring tears to my eyes. Yep, truth be told, I have this problem when I harvest carrots too. (think what you want, I don’t mind).
And so, what gets me through the night, short of flying to India and becoming of Jain? And what the hell is someone like me doing out here on a farm anyway? Well, all I can say is that I take great comfort in Joseph Campbell’s teachings, when he talks about living things being part of an all-consuming fire. That life has always fed on life and this is the inevitable creation and destruction of living~ the life/death/life cycle. I find the philosophers and poets of the world help to make sense of this complex field. I read their words to comfort me, to help me live a human life and not feel forever guilty for it.
So today, a very big excavator came and did a very big job.
And Mark was busy with his chainsaw and brother Cohen was stacking wood.
And I was weedwacking in funny glasses and digging manure into raised beds.
It was a busy day and lots was accomplished and we had a stew for dinner and we toasted to a hard days work ~ to seeing the first outline of our vegetable garden and to power tools.