Getting back to work.
Starting to farm again has not been anything like I had expected. While I was pregnant I had this fantastical idea that I would be back on the farm a few weeks after giving birth, wearing the baby and cruising along like any other season. Luckily we hired help, incase my plans didn’t pan out - which they haven’t, because duh I just had a baby.
After 8ish weeks I got the okay from the doctor to be more active, as long as it wasnt painful, which I took to mean that I could begin farming again ASAP. Well my body went along with my minds foolish over ambition; I planted my heart out one day, only to wake up the next day and realize I am definitely not in farm shape. All that repetitive squatting and standing felt great while I was doing it, but the next day my legs and lower back let me know how they really felt - they were upset with my life choices.
So I told myself that I would have to slowly get back into farm shape, slowly being both the keyword and something I’ve never been good at - easing into things isn’t my forte - so I started with some morning harvests, while August napped, moved into some half days and eventually turned those into 2 full days of farm work a week plus markets on the weekends. I am so tired at the end of the day, but it's the good tired, the accomplished tired, the I worked my butt off and loved it tired; what I didn’t expect was how tired I would be when Im not on the farm, when I’m with August all day. It's a different type of exhausting, combination mental and physical, especially when he protests naptime, which he currently is. But just like a good harvest makes long hard farm days worth it, seeing him change and grow is amazing, hearing him laugh for the first time or watching him roll over makes those sometimes endless days a little more fuzzy and unmemorable.
I’m not sure if it was hoping for the best, trusting things would work out or just being blissfully ignorant - maybe a stellar combination, but what’s been the hardest for us to figure out are market harvest days. We’re harvesting for 2-3 markets and restaurants, there’s alot going on in the fields and in the packing shed, and while we didn’t budget for childcare and would like to integrate August into our schedule as much as possible, we’re still figuring it all out. Does it make sense to hire someone to watch him for a few hours at the farm or at our house just for harvest days? We’re in a pretty rural area and the closest daycare is a solid half hour drive. For the meantime I lead the crew through harvest and Matthews on double duty with August and packing up the harvest and putting it into the cooler.
We’re new to this whole world of farming with kids, and I know there are many who do it - with great success. So I started reaching out to some farm families to get their experiences and words of wisdom and I’ll be featuring them here every so often.