Life On The Farm

The other day a visitor asked, “Swami, describe a typical day at Ganja Ma Gardens?”  I kind of chuckled to myself and replied, “There is no typical day!”


I did say that I started every day sitting in meditation for about a half an hour. Then I have blueberry granola with fruit and non-dairy milk or else pancakes with maple syrup, then I’ll read the paper or the New Yorker while I drink my coffee.  But after that there really isn’t much predictability.

Usually what happens is that sitting in the living room the night before, smoking a fatty, thinking about what has to happen the next day, I will run through my mental “to-do” list. Then I’ll ask Nikki what’s on the calendar for tomorrow; do we have to go into Town or is there a meeting we have to go to, is any one coming to visit, do we need to make a delivery? Once I’ve cleared the day with the mistress of the calendar, I’ll ask Cassie and Cole if there is  anything  that they need or plan to do and if they need my input. So a proposed “plan of action” begins to take shape.


Then come morning, something almost always comes up that needs to be dealt with right away. Then I am off to take care of that moment”s crisis. For example, the other day I went out to start up the tractor so I could use the front loader to dig out the top of the septic tank, but it wouldn’t start. Apparently, one of the guys who had used it the previous day to move branches and brush had left the key on “accessory”, so the battery was drained.


Well, Jimmy Pinches, the local septic pumper, was scheduled to come out the next day. So now my whole day turns around getting the tractor to start. Easy enough! Just take the battery out, take it to the barn and recharge it. But, the bolts holding on the battery cable are totally rusted and won’t budge. Back to the barn to get the WD-40, spray it on and wait to let it soak in. Meanwhile, I am thinking of plan “B”, because I’m not sure I can get the battery out even once it is disconnected.


Unfortunately, the back-up generator is in the shop for overhaul, so I can’t use it to power the battery charger out at the tractor. Then I remember there is a small generator at our former partner’s little cabin.So I hop in the pick-up and drive over the the other side but I look everywhere: no gennie.  So back to the tractor and try to disconnect the stuck cable: no go, and in trying to pry it off I actually pulled out the battery post instead.  Now we’re on to Plan C. So far my entire day has been trying to get the tractor going so I can dig out the septic tank. Must be lunch time.


It has now become clear that what ever I had thought I was going to do for the day is not gonna happen. And, Nikki keeps reminding me that I still have to write a blog for Tuesday. In the back of my mind I am  thinking about the application I need to finish filling out to claim that our spring is a fully contained spring and so is not under the Water Board jurisdiction. Then I remember that I still have to measure the solar power installation on the roof of the power shed over at the Moon Garden to finish the permit application for the Department of Planning and Building.


Drinking my after lunch coffee, I figure that if I put together all of my extension cords, they just might reach from the compost tea brewer over to the tractor out at the Rose Garden. Bingo! They do reach. I connect up the charger and go back to the house to smoke a joint.


By this time, one of the guys who had left the key on is going at it with pick and shovel to dig out the septic tank by hand. He’s down nearly three feet and still no tank. At this point, I decide we need to call up Jimmy Pinches and tell him we are not ready for him to come out. He says “No problem, pardner” – he’s got two emergencies to take care of tomorrow anyway.


Around 10 pm I went out to check on the progress of the recharge and the machine said fully charged. I decided to wait till the morning to test it…. Come back in the morning and try to start the tractor, but the flashing lights announce that the battery is dead again. Now it was I who had left the key turned and drained the battery. Are we on to Plan D yet? Are the Gods and Goddesses conspiring against me? What sign is the Moon in? Mercury isn’t even retrograde! 


Time for a little philosophizing. Upon reflection I have come to the realization that on the farm there are several different categories of activities, any one of which can take precedence at any given moment. First and foremost, of course, are chores; those things which just have to be done on a regular basis just for the flow of life: dish washing, sweeping, taking out the compost, emptying the garbage, bringing in fire wood, watering the house plants, etc., etc. Next comes maintenance, things like greasing the tractor, cleaning the wood stove chimneys, cleaning the gutters, washing floors, taking the car in for an oil change, and so on. Then comes repairs on whatever happens to be broken. Then the gardening takes its time: watering, weeding, preparing compost teas and fermenting plant juices, putting up trellises, pruning, harvesting. After that are projects such as a worm bin, or a compost tea brewer, or fencing in a new garden, making a new gate, putting up a green house or a hoop house, running a water line. 


Finally, these days two new categories have been added. First are meetings, whether of the Board of Supervisors, or our own Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, or with one of the state or county departments regulating us, or with foresters, accountants, investors, and lawyers, or with our own employees. The last but newest category is compliance. Not only are there lots of new forms and paper work to full out, as well as reading to find out what new laws and regulations we now have to comply with, there are the changes or improvements needed to actually come into compliance, and inspectors who will check up on you.


Then I just remember that I need the tractor to mow the meadow and to work on road repair with the grader. I still haven’t been able to get out the old battery so I can put in a new one. Life on the farm goes on.

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