I guess I'm a bus driver?
When a mentor of mine used to receive a compliment about how well things were going for the organization she would reply with "you just gotta have the right people on the bus".
It made me imagine her as the bus driver, bouncing in the seat, gripping the huge wheel, vigilantly keeping an eye on the road ahead. She had a bus FULL of people supporting her, advising her, working hard to keep it going.
Ben and I share the "driving" of the Wild Harmony Farm bus. We compliment each other well. When one is bogged down, the other can usually muster enough energy to pull through and keep us on track.
Last week I had a moment of realizing we have the perfect people on the bus right now.
Marina, one of our year long apprentices was learning to mow. In some ways, mowing is a sign of defeat. It means we're using fossil fuel because we don't have the right amount of animals on the land at exactly the right time. It means we're spending time doing what the cows "should" do for us. But we're understocked and the key to not just grass-fed beef but gourmet grass-fed beef is grass management.
This Spring when COVID-19 really peaked, the cattle we had arranged to buy over the winter was no longer available. There was a change in management of the herd we source from in Jamestown and the new farmer had a demand for beef he preferred to meet. (Certainly can't blame him for that!) But it meant our pastures were left understocked, our grass grew tall and stemmy and we were in a pickle.
While Ben and I focused on what this meant for our beef inventory, our pastures, our income and our future herd stocking options, Marina learned to mow. Marina is an incredible learner, asking great questions, and clarifying when needed. She was a quick study.
Ben showed her how to hitch the mower to the back of the tractor, a process that takes a keen understanding of the balance of perfection and whacking things with a hammer. He walked her through the sixteen thousand things you have to watch in all directions, sent her on a trial run and she was good to go.
Marina, mowed with focus. When the fields were finished, she hopped off with a grin the size of texas on her face, proclaiming "I LOVE MOWING!".
Our pastures look great after the haircut and we found a new source of young cattle that we think you will LOVE. (Beef takes multiple years to grow... so we will see next year!)
I'm so grateful for the hard working, kind-hearted, socially engaged, optimistic folks that come and work here. It's really nice to have "the right people on the bus".