• Accokeek Foundation

The Patterns of the Farm

by Sky Harman, Ecosystem Farm Apprentice

(An article written for our CSA Members and published in this week’s Field Notes. Download this super yum Aromatic Fig Salad Recipe, also featured this week.)

The seasons turn. The sun rises and moves through the sky in a great arc overhead before it sets beneath the horizon. Clouds circle and swirl overhead as they pass. Time passes. Our labors are more methodical as they become second nature, our routine the same. We learn the rhythms of the day, the week, ourselves, our fellow workers.

That day started like any other—we spoke of the work to be done, we divided tasks between us. We prepared potatoes for planting. We cleared beds. We set up water lines. We attended a staff meeting. In the afternoon we were to prepare our fall planting schedule. It was nearly perfect weather—warm, sunny, just a bit of a breeze. High tide was around 1:15 pm, so after the meeting, as the rest of the farm crew went to lunch together to discuss the afternoon’s tasks, I rushed to the river’s edge to continue my struggles with the pump.

There was an accident.

With one single moment, one moment that might have gone just like the others in our farm life, the rhythm was changed. The dance had stopped. When I arrived at the accident, everyone from the foundation was there standing, watching, waiting, praying I imagine.

Such is life. The rhythm changes. We learn to dance to a new tune.

For us, I believe, farming is a calling. It is not easy work. It is not profitable work. It can be painful, stressful, and at times too much for the nerves to bear. But it