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Farm Story: Let’s talk about the weather
Gardening & Agriculture Gardening & Agriculture Others

It’s October.

I saw it coming all along. To those of us who are feeling force-marched into middle age by the relentless passage of time, it may come as no delightful surprise.     

Totally logical and predictable progression aside, isn’t it a bit, well, abrupt? I could have sworn it was just last week that I was still battling the heat demons, but I guess it could have been as many as three weeks ago. It’s been glorious, hasn’t it? All my favourite fall jobs (carrots, celeriac, and markets) have involved sunshine, cool shade and the use of light jacketry. It’s always been my favourite farm season, and yet this year I have chosen a sarcastic tone for the opening lines of the first October column…

Truth is, I feel a little conflicted about this fall. In fact, I think there is some sort of underlying problem. It’s finally here, rightly arriving after summer, but let’s review what just happened: it didn’t rain for two months, it was as hot as blazes, for days we lived in swirling smoke and it still hasn’t properly poured. Fall’s here, but it forgot to rain.

The leaves are turning yellow and falling, but is it not due, at least in some cases, to the tree dying more than a change of seasons? The cover crops on our fields are thick and thatchy, but there are areas where the dirt is exposed, rock-hard and still dusty. If I may be so dramatic, I think we should expect some consequences to the type of summer we just experienced.

The following may sound exquisitely crazy. It’s time now, while the moon is waxing and ascending, to harness the power of the universe through the application of

Biodynamic preparations and help the soil re-gain strength following the rigours of production.

Yup, we do this. As you know, potatoes contain almost everything we need to live and they get all of that from the soil. You can add it back with the help of chemicals or you can do it with cover-crops and hocus-pocus, but one way or another, it has got to be done. That’s what farming is. We do what we do and our yields are increasing every year and there are lots of people who support us.    

Time for an abrupt change of subject. I will now stop describing bewildering Biodynamic farming principles and this disconcerting autumn and refer instead to the benefits of having a four-slice toaster at the lunch table. It’s early for awards season, but here is a nomination in the Makes Life Easier and More Fun category. Lunch preparations for the crew consist of: sourcing and slicing tomatoes, cukes, bread and cheese, preparing coffee and plugging in the four-slicer. Away we go. Self-service sandwiches for all. Good riddance to the frantic-farmer sandwich production line.  

I’ll carry on with the award nominations, fending off an almost irresistible return to the maudlin and meandering weather musings, which may lead to dreaded navel-gazing and other histrionics. This is such an awkward column.

At this time, without further ado, I would like to nominate dad in the Executive of the Year category. He is indefatigable, investigative and invested. He’ll lock it down if his carrots make it to market.

Nominations for Worker of the Year award have been closed due to over-competitiveness on the part of workers. I can see that I will have to create categories for each of them. Talk about awkward. Sheesh.

Thank goodness I have the weather to talk about.

Anna Helmer ran over her shoes at market today.


Whistler Waldorf School’s Grade 3 class and their brilliant teacher fan out across the field to apply Biodynamic Preparation 500.   Photo by Anna Helmer