Wow! Ever realize that months have gone by rather than days??? This is a sign of a busy life, we think! Slow down! is the admonition of the month. Time slides by far too quickly unless we can lift our eyes to cherish the moments we’re given.
This year with its mild winter proved to be very productive with the successful relocation of the Flanders School to the farm. Less snow also translated to much more work being done in the woods, mostly tightening sap lines and removing invasive species of undergrowth. All this work, in turn, led to all sorts of ancillary discoveries. If you haven’t experienced being on an old farm, there is much to capture your imagination. Working in the woods during the less vegetated seasons brings tangible reminders of past days and the lives which were spent on this corner of the earth. Which is the most tantalizing location? You guessed it…the farm dump.
The “farm dump” concept dates back to days before community landfills and trash removal services. It also predates plastics, so much of what was dumped is returning to the soil. Typically the farm dump was located not so far away from the house and barns, but far enough that it wasn’t in the domestic landscape. There are at least three dumps on this farm, and each has its particular charm. Discoveries have included multiple old milk cans, a collection of discarded sap buckets, a broken jar full of miscellaneous buttons and fasteners, wrought iron cookware, some crockery and all sorts of other bits and pieces of lives gone by. These places are more magnetic than even the internet—once you start poking through, time stands still. We are reminded that this land is ours only for a brief moment in time, and we are merely stewards.
Moving the school has also allowed us more glimpses of days gone by, with opportunities to chat and consult with our neighbors. A goodly number of them have personal experience with the history of the school and their own memories of the farm. These memories—some stretching back generations—conjure up children driving ponies off for a day of fishing, working the fields with horses, and bringing hay into the barn during the hottest days of summer.
Little time to poke through history at the moment, as the sap is flowing! We must make syrup while the sap flows~ Back to the evaporator for now, so in the meantime be busy making the most interesting and compassionate history you can muster. Time flies when you’re having fun…!