Tonight marks the end of the agricultural year. Some call it Hallows Eve, or Halloween, or Día de Muertos, some even call it Samhain. No matter the name, tomorrow will be a whole new year of farming to experience and learn from.
We have lived on this new land in a new town for seven months now and still when I look outside, it looks wild to me. The front two acres have been very easy to force into a civil landscape. Trevor mowed the wild grasses and weeds in the spring and the summer heat kept most of it from growing very tall. The goats have nibbled down every blade of grass in their pen and have kindly trimmed the low tree branches in the “front yard”.
No matter what the goats do in the back half-acre of grass, it looks like a dry, lonely meadow. The tall stalks of wild grasses stop where the seasonal creek winds through our acreage. On the other side of the narrow and rocky path that will soon fill up with water, is a slight grade filled with rocks and brush. Next to our narrow, rectangle-shaped property is a vacant lot that gives us a buffer between the house and the main road.
We have recently spotted deer and bobcats hiding among the various oaks and pines growing there. The brush is so tall both on our back two acres and around the side in the vacant lot that it is easy for coyotes to mill around unnoticed. When the fire truck from the station a few blocks over runs it’s siren, you can hear dozens of coyotes sing in the hills surrounding us. At first I thought it was a little creepy, but now I wait to hear their voices and find it comforting.
Our wild dirt and hills have not tamed since we moved here. I think it is more that we have carved out a few spots of our own. If we are lucky, this new agricultural year will bless us with three more turkey dinners; a successful breeding of the goats, the first goat kids born here on the farm, and the milk that comes along with all that; a few apple trees planted in the spring; perhaps even some new garden beds; and a thriving pumpkin patch by the next year’s end.
Tonight we will celebrate the end of an awkward year with a homeraised chicken, some homemade bread rolls, and a couple organic market acorn squash. We may even get some rain this afternoon! What better way to start anew than a good autumn storm cloud overhead.