Benign neglect and hands in dirt

Deer antler found in the woods

Home after a full day of work, already dusk, but some unexpected sod to lay down and a garden box to get leveled and filled with new soil. I finished in the dark, feeling with my hands in the fragrant dirt to place four young tomatillo plants. A smell of the farm, the blanket of night, and a satisfied calm within.

Yesterday, Sunday with afternoon rain showers forced me to rest. I sat with the paper on the front porch. Erin and the girls went out to shop and sighted the first box turtle of the year crossing the gravel road. I’m still delighted in my find from a couple of weeks ago, a deer antler that was in the back woods. Another deer ate the leaves off the apricot tree I’d just planted. The squirrels have visited the cherry tree, and the pileated woodpeckers continue to pound at the downed yellow poplar tree behind the abandoned shed.

Last month, Randall the sawyer brought his mobile mill up to the house to slice the blackjack oak, red oak, and white oak stacked on the edge of the road since the tree trimming in March. We finished stacking the boards only yesterday, a big pile out in the shade of the woods. “Stack them, cover, and let benign neglect take over,” said Randall. In a year or two, we’ll take some of the slabs to his Fireside Farm workshop so he can make tables, including a long table for backyard dinners with friends. For sure there will be tomatillo salsa and maybe fireflies as dusk settles over us.



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