Spring. My favourite season. The trees begin to grow leaves, the bees wake from their winter slumber, baby animals are born, eggs are hatching, the lilac bushes and apple blossoms are blooming, and the air smells fresh and crisp. As this beautiful season approaches quicker than ever, I should be happy, content. But oftentimes this is not the case. I find myself falling down the rabbit-hole of comparing myself to everyone else and feeling that uncomfortable feeling of “what I am doing is not good enough”. Or in more youthful terms — FOMO (fear of missing out). Dreading spring is not something I want to do, but comes uncharacteristically easy for me. But how can that be, considering this is the season of rebirth? Of new life, of growth and prosperity, and of sunshine (with likely a sprinkling of rain in there too)? Admittedly, I suffer from feeling left behind. As a farmer, seeing everyone posting their hatching eggs and livestock for sale online does make me feel frustrated for not being ready. For not being “there” yet. For not having as many colourful eggs, or as many breeds of bird, or as many seedlings in my grow trays. It is something that I have struggled with most of my life, feeling left out. Of course, competition and watching others’ success is healthy and should be used as an agent to motivate and inspire — but it is equally important to find grace and contentment to celebrate how far you have come!
I want to shift the narrative, and begin to see spring as a season of inspiration. To reflect on last year, see how I can grow this year, and reward myself for my accomplishments. The desire and dedication to your passion is truly all you need. For me? I am proud of where I am as a business. I am proud of our accomplishments, and how I learn new things every day. We count our blessings for the things that we do have, and chase our dreams for the things that we want. We are taking our time to make our gifts the best they can be, following federal, provincial, and municipal guidelines as well as our own self-imposed guidelines, and that takes time! Sourcing the best-of-the-best birds, the best feed, the best coops and housing, and ensuring that we take our time to make everything as it should be. Easing our way into our largest vegetable garden EVER this year, anticipating lots of learning and growth. And we celebrate those who are already there — congratulations, and we look forward to supporting fellow farmers, and watching you grow! You have come so far!! When it is time for us to bloom here, we shall, and it shall be wonderful, and beautiful, and gratifying!
So, don’t fret if your garden has only 3 vegetables in it, or if you have only a few hens, or if your plants aren’t growing as they should, or if your plants aren't growing as well as last year, or if you don't have as much time as you'd like to spend on your passion, or you feel left behind by the outpouring of ads you see this spring. Love what you do, take your time, and go easy on yourself. In the age of technology, we might feel forced to see everyone's highlight reels on social media, but this is only a surface view of what is truly going on. Everyone suffers losses. Everyone achieves victories. So, I urge you -- take this springtime to reflect, breathe deeply, seize the day, and enjoy where you’re at — because every little step forward should be treated as a great success!