I have been hounding the Butterfly Weed. For three weeks. The tips of the buds have been orange and yellow and white for that long. The Blue Thistle (Eryngium, to be precise) has been stringing me along, as well. Maybe I shouldn’t even mention the Lisianthus...
The peonies on the other hand, despite my practically camping in the field, always manage to burst open when I turn my back. Ask any of our pickers about finishing the field only to go back to the beginning and start in again.
Since the flowers, except for the peonies, have been in a time freeze for a few weeks, this has given me time to ponder the “deeper” lessons they may offer. As we get adjusted to a new place, with an experienced crew mixing with new members -and my adult kids, I realize that people, children included, are a lot like flowers. The more you micro-manage them, the longer they seem to take to bloom. And, conversely, when they do suddenly launch in a knowledge or maturity growth spurt, they leave me spinning and trying to keep up, forcing me to remind myself that they now have got this new area under control.
The veteren crowd, Vicenta, Alma, Ana, Lorena -well, they are like the peonies. They just jump in and improvise. I turn my back and next thing I know a new process or contraption has been invented to replace something from the old place.
My boys, Corbin and William, are new to the actual farming part of farming (as opposed to marketing). For what seemed like weeks I would walk through the farm and wonder what exactly they were doing. I couldn’t see much sign of productivity. I was tempted to try to over-manage them. I am so glad that I did not! By letting them make the place their own, and create their own workspace, I allowed them to do things that I never could. They rebuilt wagons, screen-cleaned literal tons of popcorn, and burned off fallow ground for planting. They maybe also destroyed a few things -like more than a couple tractor batteries and jumper cables. (So thankful no one lost any body parts there.) BUT most significantly, they became Masters of the Irrigation. The consistent water not only gave us full-sized Candy Onions in June, but also pretty much saved the whole farm during a localized drought.
It finally rained last week, and the Butterfly Weed, the Snapdragons and many other lovelies have finally opened. The peonies have crashed to a halt, making way for the impetuous lilies. My people are blooming, too. And they are just as beautiful as any of my flowers!