The weather, so far, outside is not frightful. There is still time to plant garlic. Some folks think that this is the most wonderful time of the year. I do hear the singing, especially on certain radio stations and in places of commerce. But there is plenty of work to do while the crowds gather and ponder shopping and commerce.
Some of the big work in front of us at the Farm is always there. The animals consistently need care. The chicken house can be cleaned more often than it is. And it will be with the help of middle school students from the Chapman Farm School in Norwell. And the chicken yards too, while we are at it. Fresh leaves, recently brought from raked and blown lawns at nearby homes. These leaves are good, especially as the pile of them begins to decompose. The decomposing pile is a good source of scratching material and maybe a worm or two. The chickens are not entirely vegetarian and do enjoy the search for what lies beneath. The goats and the donkey can be walked and shown how to frolic beyond their fenced area of roaming. Pepper the bunny seems fine, remaining cute and wondering to herself where are the dandelion greens.
The tap rooted stems will return for Jean to pick, when this brief winter passes or may be available as the earth warms. And speaking of the Earth, we could spend a whole bunch of time this season in persisting against the resistance of global warming. But that work happens daily, in small ways on our organic farm that teaches about sustainable practices and grows organic food too. When thinking of the work that goes round and round and never ceases, even though the light is dwindling, we have work to do for the worms and the spinning globe.
Last Tuesday, folks were encouraged across the country to give back to an organization through service and perhaps through funding as well. The mission of Giving Tuesday is simple, especially if people are preoccupied with buying and shopping on a Friday, a cyber Monday or locally on a Saturday. People work hard and like to shop for others or themselves. And on Giving Tuesday, the shopping can be from a wallet or from the soul, with time and effort to help out.
About 15 souls appeared at Holly Hill Farm on the 28th of November to help us add ingredients of coffee grounds and filters from Seabird Coffee Shop in Cohasset, Wellspring’s rotting fruit, and the daily manure from our horses, to then also sift compost and add it to the Farm to Food Pantry garden beds, fearing that winter’s winds could erode the precious soil in those beds and that the soil in those same beds gave so much to the plants that grew in 2017.
With many hands making the work light, we had time to bring more finished compost to the new greenhouse beds for growing winter spinach. The greenhouse likes compost in beds what used to be the home for struggling asparagus and a great many weeds. Now we can engage in some healthy growing, thanks to the compost and the giving people who helped to wheelbarrow it over to the greenhouse in Peck’s Meadow field.
In hopes of quadrupling our effort to incorporate more compost ingredients and make more usable compost, the generous financial donations that came in will allow us to build more efficient compost piles with air, circulation and faster results. We can hum a holiday tune or listen to one of our farmers play drums in the farm house, while we continue to make good on our promise to keep working this season, keep diverting food waste, keep mucking and collecting what the animals give us and all the while never forgetting to persist in some good practices that benefit many, not just the 1% of worms, animals or people.