Spring Break

written by

Anonymous

posted on

April 9, 2021

Spring break...when you hear these two words what comes to your mind? Perhaps you think of soft, sandy beaches, or blue skies meeting the ocean. It might bring back memories of your favorite amusement park, or thoughts of your latest vacation rental. You may even think about a quick trip to the local museum.


When I hear these two words, my mind wanders to a different place; a place filled with green grass, and an aroma straight from the awakening earth. I picture my younger self walking alongside a fence row, with the sounds of a white bag wrestling the wind in my clutched hand. My eyes are fixed on the ground in front of me, looking for the next treasure. I picture a crumpled can, with a faded blue and white label barely holding on, and can smell the hint of stale ale leaking from it's cracks.


What does Spring Break mean to me? It means picking up trash that winter has left behind, or rocks that might disrupt a plows path. It means pounding a fence post into newly softened ground until the sun sets, with hopes of creating a barrier that will outlast the test of time.


These memories of Spring break still hold true today for life on the farm. My daughter spent the first couple days of break painting boards with her Grandma. These boards will be the new ceiling inside The Meat Shed.


My son helped his father, and our farmhand Ben, build new fencing for our cattle and pig pastures. His job was to slide the insulating cover along the wire to each post. This cover allows the flow of electricity to continue without disruption from each wooden post.


My father continues the tradition of picking up trash, as he wanders our township's streets to clean up the roadsides. One day I saw him on the side of the road while I was driving and pulled over to chat with him. I ended up having to wait in line behind two other cars in front of me wanting to visit! It reminded me of the stories I hear about the Downers Grove Farmers market, where a long line of people forms to wait patiently for a chat with their farmer. How sweet it was for me to see that line also form in our little community.


Spring break is a good time to break up the monotony of everyday life, and fill it with joyful experiences. It may be hard to feel that joy while picking rocks out of a field as long as your eye can see; however, it'll come to you when there are little repairs along your planting journey in the future.

More from the blog

One Pasture, Many Crops: Seasonal Farming in Michigan

Farming in Michigan comes with its share of challenges, especially in the Spring when weather conditions can change rapidly. We navigate these conditions by using our land resourcefully to sustain our livestock year-round. This story highlights our process of managing cover crops and preparing for the planting season, ensuring that our pigs, chickens, and 100% grass-fed cattle receive the best possible nutrition.

Describe Your Perfect Spring Day...

The sun shines as the morning dew bathes the blades of grass, some just barely making their way through the soil, while others stand tall after a nice long rest. After thanking the good Lord for this beautiful day, I put on my favorite oversized sweatshirt and smoothly lined rain boots and holler, “kids, let’s go! It’s time for a walk.” I hear their feet leap off the floor, return with a stomp, without pause or hesitation; they recognize the eagerness to feel and see the season. Adventures begin as the swinging door slams behind the youngest who has no time to lose. We trek down the sandy lane leading to fields of glory. The chickens’ and cattle’s noses touch the ground as they walk the green grass, while a mamma sow nurses its young under shelter.  Day old piglets grunt, and we breathe in the air surrounding fresh straw and new life. The kids yell, “see you later!” and beg to take a ride to the woods. My husband, lifts a child to his chest while straddling the four-wheeler, and I corral the remaining toward the side-by-side, all while the littlest pats my thigh asking three times in a row, “can we go on a bye-bye side ride?!” My husband and I discuss the best route, building anticipation for the journey, and we ride. Once the vehicles park, we walk off the beaten path; I watch eyes follow the tree where it meets the earth, to where it touches the sky.  We listen to the birds calling our name, and wonder. Treasures are found, bright small flowers and small muted mushrooms. I watch our kids swing on heavy branches, while chatting about nothing at all. Our time in the woods ends with a fast ride, wind blowing all our troubles away. Near home, we play in the sand box and on the court.  A competitive game of one on one is enjoyed while young spectators shout rules that don’t make sense.  We play until our stomachs grumble. My husband and I craft a dinner that feels, smells, and tastes exactly like Spring - smoky barbeque chicken, smashed cream cheese tators, and crispy morel mushrooms.  The day is settled with a piping hot cup of tea, steeped from freshly picked treasures of the land, while again I thank my Savior for all our blessings. Spring is here on the farm, and we are present.