One warm evening last week I worked until dusk, which comes so early now, then wandered about the farm a little. It’s a habit I pick up from time to time, especially in the spring and fall. I did it partly to admire the work I had done that day but mostly just to soak in the autumn silence. No birdsong. No tree frogs calling to one another. No crickets thrumming in the twilight. Not even the breeze rustling the fallen leaves. Only a vesper stillness and the dark indigo sky fired salmon and pink at the western horizon with a thin, bright slice of the new crescent moon. As I stood there, I felt the world drawing inward, readying itself for winter.
I’m readying for winter, too. The farm is just about put to bed for the season—the fields cleared out and sown to a protective cover crop, the hens nestled in their winter coop, the greenhouses tidy and ready to be fired up again come March. The farm’s dormant season has arrived.
Which does not mean an inactive season. There will be plenty to do this winter, dreaming and planning and plotting. I have to draft budgets, set planting schedules, order seeds and supplies—a whole constellation of preparatory tasks that need tending to.
But first, before all that, we are given a moment to be thankful. And one thing that was driven home to me this season is how grateful I am to be a farmer, and for this farm, and how so very grateful I am for everyone who has helped this farm along these past seven years—thank you, all.