A Quick Note on Mother’s Day
Spring has finally settled in around here it seems. The cold is packing up and we have long warm days filled with sunshine laid out before us. It’s a good thing, too, because Mother’s Day is coming up at the end of the week, and we often celebrate the holiday working in the garden.
As kids, Richard and I always gave Mama a flat of flowers for Mother’s Day. That idea was probably started (and paid for) by Dad when we were very little. Some marigolds, some pansies—little spots of color for Mama’s huge front yard garden. That tradition continues today, and I’m hoping my own son picks up the mantle in a year or two (*cough cough, Dan. Get some flowers for our garden and attach a card from Archer. *cough cough).
But as Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about moms and spring and the farm. So much of the work I do at Carriage House Farm by my Dad’s side feels traditionally masculine. It involves chainsaws and loud diesel machinery and elbow grease and lifting or heaving that requires me to put my whole body into it. I’ve been told a few times that “there’s no crying in farm work.” Years ago when we were still selling hay regularly, one of our customers asked me as I got off the tractor, “don’t your Dad have any sons?” by which he really meant, “Why’s a girl doing this work?”
And yet, as spring has eased in, I’ve been watching Megan and Greg, the new garden team at CHF, prep the garden for planting and grow plants from seed and have been struck by how much of stewarding and farming land actually seems really maternal.
There are the obvious moms around the property: The bunnies have had babies. There’s a new Colt in Riverwind Stables. Tadpoles are tadpole-ing in the pond at the edge of the horse pasture. There’s a robin nesting on one of the roof supports over the entrance to the new building.
But less obvious signs? In March and April when there was still snow on the ground, we would all daily check in on the baby plants stacked under grow-lights in the new building—their tender shoots and first sets of leaves as filled with hope as that new-baby milk-smell that infants use to turn us all to googoogoogling messes. We get a little giddy when we find praying mantis egg cases in the garden—helpful gifts left to us last year by busy moms. I find myself obsessively checking the grapevines to find plumping buds and the first unfurling of leaves, as pink and pretty and delicate as peony petals.
In other words, despite the loud machinery and the muscular work that happens day to day, there’s also a lot of birth and rebirth happening around us at Carriage House Farm right now, and it’s breeding a kind of sweet and happy tenderness that feels spot on for Mother’s Day this coming weekend.
Happy Mother’s Day from Carriage House Farm!