Life on the farm? Rainy and wet.
Lets see, Thursday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m., I was standing under a market tent in the rain, trying to vend grass-fed beef, pork and eggs in Northfield. The wind picked up around 5:30, and other vendors tents, which were not shielded from the gusts, were lifting a little.
I was very, very lucky to have a space shared by Severance’s Maple Products of Northfield, who have many grades of maple syrup, candies, sugars and other products available weekly. They have a great little Maple Sugar Shack (a trailer) that they bring to the Northfield Farmer’s Market – and Thursday they set up a tent beside that structure– which did a fabulous job of shielding us all from the wind.
Coyote Hill Farm from Bernardston offered beautiful, sculptural and tasty garlic scapes, their own strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, flowers and other fresh produce, Leyden Glen Farm brought a freezer stocked with local lamb, Bloody Brook Farm was present with fresh produce and there were lovely plants – both flowing and started veggies, available for sale by a cheerful, hard-working local green-thumb.
It was too bad that by and large, the fruits (or meat and vegetables) of our labor (“s”, collectively) went unnoticed at the market due to the weather. Be it known, that day in, day out, regardless of cooperation by the weather, the humble farmer is toiling: in the fields, the barn, the greenhouse, at the market.
We will be there. Will the customers?
I cannot neglect the two, brave customers who despite the torrents, came over and purchased products from Wells Tavern Farm – a half dozen fresh duck eggs, and a beautiful little Sirloin steak. Thank you. Thank you very much.
As I drove past our pastures, going home Thursday night after the market, the sheep were nibbling grass, the goats were tucked away in their shelter, the pregnant Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs were stretched out, enjoying the opportunity to wallow in a mudbath. The turkeys and chickens had retreated into their night housing, and the ducks and geese were happily flapping and squawking. The cows? The Belted Galloways are not much perturbed by the rain, as they have a double-coat, some genetic temperature sturdiness and lots of hairy insulation. The Jerseys… well, they are a dairy breed, and have very little “insulation” in the form of extra coat, layers of fat, or sturdy constitution. They are very lovely animals– much more “refined” than the weather-oblivious Belties. I looked into those large Jersey eyes, rain drenched and yearning for some kind of attention (extra food, a hearty brushing, etc.) and that night I instantly understood how they felt.
“Me too,” I thought.
Perhaps Tuesday’s market in Bernardston will be warmer, or drier… perhaps both?
I told Gloria from Coyote Hill Farm that I would post some pics that I took of the vendors in the rain, and her beautiful produce. I will. Later. :0