BC (that’s, Before Crofting) had someone asked, I would have suggested that the crofting life revolves around the seasons. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? And adequately romantic – living in harmony with nature and all of that blah, blah, blah. Well Balls! I say to that. It revolves around chores. And just when you think you’re getting out from under them another damn one rears it’s ugly head. And it’s not revolving around harvesting either – contrary to my other preconceived notion. Although I suppose if you stretch you could make that argument. Planting is leading to harvesting – so are babies, but really, it’s a damn stretch.
I write this as jars 42 and 43 of this years cherry overload are in the canner (they’re out now). We now have an assortment of cherries – whole and as preserves – for the winter months. While it’s romantic to think about how much we will enjoy them then (and we will) the other reality no one talks about is the fact that by the end of each fruit and veggie as it comes into season (if you are eating seasonally) you can no longer stand the damn thing. Really. I could go and pick more but I’m pretty sure that’s a good way to end up NUTS! I should add that these were picked by me, washed, pitted and so on all be me. So, I’m really, really done with cherries. It will happen with apricots soon enough (although those I will be buying so it’s one less step).
As I was processing I was thinking about a calendar for crofting and I think it would go something like this.
I’m starting in March because that really is the new year).
March and April – snow, babies
May – garden in – still baby related chores
June – hay, early strawberries; garden; still baby related chores; firewood
July – strawberries, blueberries, saskatoons and cherries (and I still have to go and pick my blueberries for the winter); planing breeding, hay; garden; firewood
August – stone fruits (apricots, peaches etc.); garden; hay; firewood
September – early apples, early butchering, late stone fruits (ie plums); garden; breeding season’s begun; hay; firewood
October- cold crops (ie squashes), butchering, apples, garden; breeding; firewood
That’s as far as my cherry addled mind will take me. Maybe I will keep track of it. I could go and look in my farm journal to see what we were doing at that time last year but right now -since my last jars are out – I want to do a cursory tidy, bath, book and bed.
Edit – of course all of this has been written completely forgetting that we’re adding bees this year!