I’m writing outside today for the first time in a really long time. Like years. It’s been an interesting year, this year since the DNR graciously bestowed our pigs back to us. Many people have asked us, some almost immediately, “You’re OK now, back to business like before, right?” Sometimes we lie and say, “Yeah, sure.” Sometimes we half lie and say, “Well, you know, it takes time to build markets back up.” It is true, but how about building your whole process chain again with all new components because the people you worked with before are no longer working with you. It’s a daunting task, especially when you’re tired. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. We’ve enjoyed being able to focus more on rebuilding our business. We’ve been encouraged by each person we’ve interacted with in the course of putting good food in front of folks. Our horizons have been widened by all the different people we’ve interacted with (that’s one of the things we’ve loved about these pigs). Yet, it’s a bit disheartening to have to do all that hard work. Again.
But, now it’s spring. I have time to write today, which is a pleasure. I’m listening to all the birds, especially the mourning doves. That particular song holds lovely memories of my Grandma and their farm. I’m looking at a pen full of freshly weaned little pigs out in the garden field. I just took pictures of one little boy in his homemade robot suit, and pushed another little boy on the swing set some precious friends built last weekend. I’m remembering the young man who came
to get weaner pigs last Saturday. He’s jazzed about raising Mangalitsa pigs, using them to clear land, then coming up here to learn how to process them, and, finally, turning his backyard hogs into bacon himself. He also took in all he could of our chicken operation so he can do that, too. Budding food entrepreneurs are inspirational.
Spring is the start of the year on the farm. We start pigs, chicks, calves (one of the dairy cows is going to burst any day now), seeds, compost, butchering—all the things we do. I decided a couple months ago that I want to live by the Jewish calendar, where the new year is in the spring. It makes perfect sense to those who live by the seasons and natural rhythms.
So, like farmers all through the ages, we are really eternal optimists, no matter what we say. Because spring is the time for new starts.