Some people love fall; I do not. The changes of the seasons might bring cheer to some but for me it’s rather undesirable.
Monday I put on my lumberjack gear to continue cutting wood. As I worked away stacking and hauling wood for next year I began to reflect. Observing my surroundings, I found it hard to see the beauty in fall, the changing leaves or bare trees. Everything around me was dead or getting ready for winter. No more lush trees, no more bountiful gardens, just dead plants and leaves everywhere. Maybe I’m just the odd one out, missing the beauty of the nature around me. I believe I’m just not fascinated by the transition of nature into dormancy. We worked until lunch on firewood and then took a break. Afterwards, we continued working for a few hours. When we finished, David and I got changed and went out to see the final performance of The Clean House, presented by the Commonweal in Lanesboro.
The next day David and I picked up where we had left off. As we hacked away at the wood pile my mind began to wander. Not only has this fall season been nature’s physical transition for the next season, it also has been a great time of reflection for me. Even more so than spring and summer, I have been able to spend time reflecting on thoughts and ideas as I do – almost – mundane tasks around Pepperfield. I understand they need to get done as part of the fall operations of the farm, but I came here to learn about food growth and processing, not Firewood Acquisition 101. (I guess the sentiment I’m trying to express is disappointment or frustration.) Not only has fall been the time for clean-up and changes, it also has acted as my jarring snap back to the reality of my life and the choices I make. Unlike the plants, I’m just getting started. Woodcutting took up most of our morning and afternoon. After a quick lunch break, I left the house for a busy night of work.
Wednesday – that’s right, you guessed it – brought more woodcutting. As I stacked, I began to think back to the beginning of my journey. I have made so much personal growth and have this urge to continue. Pepperfield has acted as a great catalyst for these changes. Meanwhile it has provided an equally fantastic conduit for this growth. But now, as my goals have shifted, so have my needs. At the end of the day, I don’t mind cutting firewood or working on garden clean-up. But I’m struggling to meet my goals and objectives as I sacrifice my time and energy here. I am excited and anxious to get a jump on some of my upcoming projects. Unfortunately, limited internet and cell service, busy days and early nights, among other things, make this nearly impossible at the farm.
Thursday was the last day of woodcutting. Thankfully David and I had developed a decent rhythm so we only spent our morning on this project. Things slowed down for the day and I did some computer work until I left for town. The night at work was insane. The next day I started my morning with clean-up around the house. I threw a pot of goat stew on the stove to reduce while I puttered around. Meanwhile, I finished the house chores by sweeping the floors and cleaning the stove top. I left for work a few hours later for another busy night in town.
Saturday started to look a little more exciting. After breakfast, I set my whetstone to soak for sharpening. Then, I made a lemon poppy seed cake to use up some extra products we had around the house. As it cooked and filled the house with a great lemon aroma, I worked on sharpening the kitchen knives. I had forgotten how relaxing it was to just sharpen knives. I made my transition to work mode as the afternoon progressed. Then, I left for town to work with Ruth and Trout River Catering. Ruth was catering a Luther College reunion and wanted me to help plate. After a solid shift, I grabbed a beer and then called it a night.
Sunday I slept in until 10. Afterwards, I got up and started my day. David didn’t have anything pressing so I got to spend my morning working on some personal projects. It was during this time that I really began to think about plans for Pans & Perspective. I’m sure you’ve noticed (don’t think I haven’t) that the frequency of posts has begun to decline. I don’t like to make excuses but I feel over-committed at this point. Between my work here and in town, I have found increasing less time to work on creating quality content. This is not permanent. My time at Pepperfield is nearly complete; I’ll be bringing you an explosion of new content once I get settled back in Florida.
Thank you all for following my journey this year. Personally, I am thrilled to be able to document my time and share a glimpse of it with all of you! Don’t forget, next Wednesday will be our October AMA session; you can learn more about it here.