Through the Freeze

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“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”

-Albert Einstein

And so through with it! Whaddya say, spring? Why don’t you come on, stay a while! I’m writing this on Thursday, a little ahead of schedule, but as I covered my plots on Friday, and haven’t uncovered them since, what with some shocking lows (18°F last night…!), we haven’t had much work to do in the field. We were planting trays on trays for the Herb Fest coming up on April 22nd at the Winecoff Market, but, what with everyone here at the Lomax Incubator farm in a holding pattern until these chilly nights pass us by, the greenhouse is now maxed out! I have some beautiful planties just itching to get out into the field, too, so hopefully, next weeks forecast remains favorable so the outdoor work can begin! I’ve only peaked under the blankets at my babies already outside, and I’ll tell you, I’m optimistic that we will get away with minimal loss this time around! It was risky to get out into the field as early as I did, but you know what they say: no risk, no reward!

Only two more weeks until the season kicks off for the Street Fare Farm CSA! Let me spell it out for you: sign up for the CSA and you’ll be able to pick up a box of your choices of the weeks freshest, hand-picked fruits and veggies from one of several convenient locations throughout the week, all season long! You’ll get an e-mail every week featuring recipes and ideas for using your produce in your meals, as well as tips for storage, preserving and more! And get this, if you sign up for the whole year, you’ll get TWO TICKETS to the Carolina Jubilee in September! Sign up soon, though, there are only 6 pairs of tickets left! The boxes start April 1st, sign up today!

I can’t wait to see you all at the markets on Saturday! Lily will be running the show at the Winecoff Market and I will be down in NoDa, slinging eggs and microgreens! The real veggies are coming, people. I hope you’re ready! ACHTUNG! The NoDa Market will be back inside the Neighborhood Theater tomorrow due to the impending rain.

SO being that I have given myself a little extra time to write this weeks update, I can take you down another one of my deep, philosophical trails that you’ve come to know and love from your favorite farmer. Today, I want to tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all work and no play makes Ben a dull boy. I have come to the conclusion that as a small business owner in it’s very earliest stages, in a business that is so entirely dependent on factors completely beyond my control, a business with extremely slim margins and very high risk, no less, that I must be the one that shows up, day in and day out, because most certainly, this is what my life depends upon! And, honestly, I’m ok with that. In fact, I love it. This is what I’ve chosen to do, and though the days can be grueling and the rewards slim, I have never once regretted leaving my comfortable 9-5 for this work. That said, however, I have many interests outside of farming. I play guitar, I am a fitness enthusiast and love working out, I have an insatiable desire to learn new things, I enjoy reading and writing, and used to be a pretty good artist (something I’d really like to get back into), I’m a decent snowboarder, and I have a beautiful, wonderful, driven girlfriend that I enjoy spending time with. If anything, my biggest fundamental flaw is that I want to do too much, much more than one can accomplish in one, or even one hundred lifetimes!

This week has been kind of stressful, not being sure what was going to become of all the hard work that Lily and I have put in at the farm to date, worried that it could be a complete loss and we’d have to start again from square one, and that stress has a tendency to eat at you. I’m happy to tell you, though, that I’ve figured out what it is I need to do: I need goals in my life outside of farming. So I made some goals! I decided that what I really wanted to do was compete athletically again, as I used to be very competitive as a soccer player, a wrestler, in the high school and college weight rooms, and then, more recently, at the crossfit gym. Of late, however, although I continue to exercise fairly regularly, my workouts developed into a routine more of maintenance as opposed to one of progression, and I was therefore not getting the fulfillment that I had in the past. SO, I’ve signed up for a race. I’ve never been a runner. In fact, I hate running. I prefer to pick things up and put them down. As a person who values health as I do, however, I feel like it’d behoove me, my lungs and my heart, to be able to run. Also, I have this fantastical idea that I’d like to be as fit and strong as, say, Captain America or Jason Bourne. And lemme tell ya, them boys can run! So I’ve started running, and hopefully I’ll be ready for the 5 mile race at the White Water Center Memorial Day weekend!

We all need clearly defined goals outside of our work in order to maintain balance, otherwise we lose touch with ourselves and why we work so hard in the first place. We lose sight of our values, and we end up not having any fun whatsoever. This opportunity we have on this beautiful planet, the opportunity of life, is a beautiful opportunity, but a fleeting one. It doesn’t make any sense at all to spend any of it getting frustrated, feeling stressed, and not having any fun. How we spend our time and the way we react and the way we feel are completely controlled by choice. Therefore, I choose to not let the weight of this life I’ve chosen to hold me back from accomplishing everything I can dream up, and I choose to have fun, and I suggest you follow suit! I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with all this, but I write this more for me than anyone else, and I hope you all glean something from it.

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Have a great weekend, and an even better week! Wake up tomorrow and choose to make it the best day of your life!

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