A Snippet of Wonder: Fall CSA Week #4 – 11/20/19

 In CSA Newsletter
I want to describe a particular moment in the fields, a moment of wonder that brings me great joy.

During this spell where the snow is no longer on the ground but the ground isn’t completely wet and soggy, is a perfect time to mulch our strawberries for the winter.

By hand, we spread out bales of hay to literally put a blanket on top of the strawberries for the winter. This protects the plants from the deep cold. Covering them, and then the uncovering that is required in the spring, also gives us some level of control as to when the berries will flower. By keeping them covered to a certain date, we can prevent them from flowering too early, and thus risking getting nipped by the frost.

Covering the strawberries means transporting bales of hay, carefully stacked in our barn structure in the summer, out to the fields. We use a skid steer with a long table on it, as well as field vehicles to transport the bales.

Our strawberry field (the new patch) runs east to west. Along the south side of the patch is a drive path that we can use to move bales to be closest to where we are spreading.

Once the hay bales are on the south side, we as humans pick up the bales and move them across the patch. We start on the east and work down the rows to the west. There are multiple beds, so quite a bit of walking goes on from the south drive path to the beds on the north.

Four of us have been working on this task.

Without saying a word, we sort of automatically disperse ourselves. We look at what rows have been done and which ones haven’t. As a group of humans we slowly blanket the patch from east to west, with no discussion of who needs to go where.

That movement of our bodies is totally unspoken, undirected.  We just sense and see and move.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the image would look like from an aerial, time collapsed view.

I shared this with everyone in the field and we all envisioned it and agreed it would be cool to see. Would we look like a flock of birds as they swoop and move through the air?  Would we resemble a school of fish moving almost as one entity through the water? Or would we look like bees or ants?

We’ll never see the ways we move through the fields from the view I’ve described.  The thought, however, that we as a team might just resemble an organic, collective movement seen in other species brought me a deep sense of wonder and joy this morning. The think of us resembling a flock of birds  is a marvelous vision.

It gave me a feeling of connectedness to other living things, and a reminder of our being animals when we so often forget we are.

Enjoy your veggies!
Farmer Cassie