So I was feeling on top of the world....like I finally got a few systems in place and life and the farm were going amazingly well. Then I fell apart again...grrrr! It all started when I went to a workshop to learn more about 'weed management' (and not the illicit drug kind, hehe). After sitting there all morning listening to the speaker and the rain noisily landing on the metal roof I was takin g everything in... " wow, there is so much to know!" I noted to myself. "Wow, there is so much I don't know!" my min d continued on. "Wow, maybe I'm doing it all wrong!?", my mind further spiraled downward.
I continued to take notes but felt my confidence drop as we proceeded on a field walk looking at their nicely laid out greenhouses and weed-free fields. "Is this what a farm is supposed to look like to be successful?", I wondered. Just the day before I was excited and feeling so good about how my fields were looking this year and then a day later I was feeling almost ashamed and embarrassed about it! Incredible how quickly our moods can change when we begin comparing ourselves to others and noting our personal limitations.
The next day I was determined to work harder than ever. "I'm gonna get on top of these weeds and get these plants in the ground", I told myself. Well, I set out to the field and by the time I got there my seedlings looked very sad (maybe my mood was contagious? hehe). As I started planting, sure enough a couple of farmer friends came by to say 'hi'. I noticed how by this time I was feeling like hiding behind a tree. "The weeds! My sad transplants. I can't hide any of it....eeek! Are they going to judge me like I'm judging myself?" I wondered. Instead I vulnerably recounted exactly what I was feeling to them. I told them my fear that "I'm doing it all wrong and losing crops and letting the weeds get out of control...AND it's all my fault!". Instead of the judgement I anticipated however, they responded with, "no you are not doing it wrong, you are just doing it differently...Candace's way. As for the crop losses well you are not alone, it is the weather, the early heat and drought, conditions those crops just don't like...that is not your fault!". Well, after they said this, I still felt critical of myself but felt my mood lifting a little. An hour later they walked past again and when I saw them, I started running and jumping through the freshly tilled soil in my barefeet, all covered in dirt, and gave each of them a big dirty hug, hehe. "You made me feel so much better! I'm still sad and scared but I feel more a little more space and freedom from the emotion. So a HUGE thank you to you both."
Lessons learned this week...maybe I am (or can be) as resilient as I seem on the outside? Maybe what I am to learn is that I can only do my best and the outcome determines itself? Just to be me and that my way is not wrong, just not quite the same as anothers (even if I have a few more weeds than the rest...I'm not giving up, I'm still working, trying, and adjusting where I can). I also noticed how comparing myself to another actually was preventing me from being open to learning new things - instead I just wanted to sink back into my tried and 'good enough' routines. I think I realized that to be open and receptive I need to understand I'm doing the best with where I'm at and that itself is good enough. Paradoxically, I'm noticing that it is only when I feel comfortable with who I am and where I'm at, that I can be open enough to see things differently and make the changes that are necessary for success.
So cheers to the resiliency of spirit to keep us from sinking too low in life's valleys and raising higher than others in life's peaks.
Your Resilient Farmer??
P.S. Please help this farm girl by sending positive thoughts to the field as I do my best to kick start the CSA soon. The heat and drought, followed by the cooler weather of last week proved disastrous to several crops! I'm sad to say that the Bok Choy, Spinach, and radishes are pretty much done:( I'm doing my best to replant, save what I can, and send more love back to the plants! I'll keep you posted on Facebook, Twitter, and my next blog....
Maye and Alison looking beautiful with the bolted and flowering bok choy. Later today it gets tilled in and I will replant as soon as possible!
Another toad in the garden. What is it trying to tell me I wonder??
Brassica weed massacre! Trust me it needed it, especially after learning it is best to get the weeds when they are still almost microscopic - not the case here, hehe.
Summer squash and cucumbers planted on black plastic. Another weed control and heat sink idea I'm experimenting with this season.
The first Uptown Waterloo Farmers' Market. Come see me (and other fabulous vendors) there every Thursday from now till October. Tell your friends too! We are trying hard to make this market a success:)
Ahhh....I can hear the plants sighing as the weed pressure is eliminated. Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts still small but growing quickly every day:)
My amazing helper Fatima! She immigrated from Kuwait to Canada a couple of years ago. This future world changer is currently a student at UofG and enjoying reconnecting with the earth and sharing memories of her grandmothers farm 'back home'. I only wish I was as smart as her when I was 21!! And people say this generation is lost....they sure won't be with women leaders like her:)