Newsletter 4/25/18 – Daily Tulip Devotion
There are many aspects of farming that require commitment, dedication, and even devotion, but none so intensely as growing tulips. Sure, it starts innocently enough: On a fine fall day before the rains have come, we plant the bulbs. With three people, it is a job that can easily be done in a morning. A coveted task even, as the rest of the crew hauls in heavy loads of winter squash and potatoes.
Then, over the next five months, the bulbs hide underground and no work is required. One late winter day, they start peaking above ground and I begin to anticipate the coming beauty and color. Even at this point, I am not thinking of work, I think only of promise.
Sometime in mid-March, the tulips are ready to harvest. At first, this is fun. I look forward to each new variety (we grow over 30 different kinds) as it comes into its own. Each tulip must be picked by hand, at specifically the right moment (give or take an hour or two). Which means that each of the 30+ varieties have their own cue that they are ready. For some it is an edge of color along one petal, for others, it is the degree of looseness, and for yet others it is a brightening or blushing of the entire flower. It is intricate work and every year I remind myself of each one’s quirks and preferences, as well as teach a new crew to get to know them.
Tulip harvest is a 7-day-a-week affair. And it’s not pick when you want, the tulips decide when they are ready. I am out there picking whether it is sunny or raining and blowing sideways. Whether it is 7am or 7pm. The tulips require devotion.
These past few weeks, as I find myself picking tulips for hours day after day, I think of myself as practicing my daily tulip devotion. For this brief 6-week window, I live by the tulips’ particular needs and the weather’s impact on them. And it is a beautiful thing to feel devoted; it keeps me going when work is hard, it lends a structure to my day, and creates a sense of purpose- the tulips must not be allowed to bloom in the field!
This sense of purpose above self is one of the hardest things about farming, and yet honestly my favorite. It gets me out of my head and connected to the land, the seasons and nature. It teaches me to give of myself and my resources, and to receive the abundance that comes. So, although I look forward to tulip church coming to an end for this season, I am thankful for the many lessons and reflections it has brought into my life.
Refer A Friend and Earn Dog Bucks!
If a new CSA member signs up and mentions your name we’ll send you Dog Bucks! For a 3 month sign up you receive $20 Dog Bucks. No limitations, refer as many new members as you want!
Wildlife like your CSA shares!
As a reminder there are deer and crows that like to rummage through the CSA crates in the Uptown and Port Ludlow locations if they are uncovered. Let’s not make it easy for them. Please make sure that an empty crate is left on the top of the shares. Thank you for your help!