Such as driving a tractor and putting fruit trees into the ground and helping them grow roots.
Such as returning to the North Country where I grew up and re-learning that country environment. Plus introducing Jeff to some exotic charms: a bullhead fry, turkey hunting, snow.
Knowing that, unlike actual farmers, our livelihood and future is not on the line when the dam busts and the crops fail.
My ambitions surpass my skills in general, and the Would-Be Farm is no exception.
Since we are intermittently present, only the hardiest and most independent of plantings have survived. The brightest of shining stars have thrived and multiplied.
The aronia and apparatus have flourished. A few of the pear-trees look perky.
And though they toil not nor do they spin, day-lillies and other decorative bulbs have been impressively productive. The walking onions are unstoppable.
The 20 or so new apple trees we planted aren't happy. The existing apple trees (100+ scraggly old trees, mostly likely Empires, Macintosh, and a yellow-skinned number that might be a Golden Russet), have their bad years and their not-as-bad years.
We've attempted to rehabilitate the old groves, but a few superannuated fellers have simply dropped their leaves and given up the ghost after our kindest of intentions...if not kindest cuts.
It's too early for planting in early April, and it's more than a bit nippy –– though we do have a WOOD STOVE this year!
Still, even with a crochet throw of snow, you can see the rocky bones of the land early in early spring. And it's an exciting few weeks while plants wake up out of the cold clay and yawn hope into the landscape.
I can't resist those colorful packets of optimism that promise poppies, lupins, chamomile. Plus garlic and seed-potatoes (thrifty hint: if your potatoes sprout in the fridge, put them in the ground -- you'll generally get a smallish bonus harvest a few months later instead of adding to the landfill).
And, because the larger fruit have not flourished under our neglectful stewardship, I have ambitions for Chinese chestnut trees, red currents, bush-cherries, and yet more elderberries. Although elderberries are not a favored deer browse according to experts, empirical evidence suggests that some deer will "sample" an elderberry bush to within inches of its life.