Accounts of a woman returning from USA to her parents’ farm in Brazil after several years and starting over. Adventures, new discoveries, old recipes, some heartbreaks, and many lessons.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Nothing is All on Sundays
June is over. Many thoughts, no writings whatsoever. End of Fall, but thankfully we haven't had cold and dark days. It's been a year since my father passed away. Like the days that precede Easter, I can't express my feelings into words, remaining in a contemplation mode.
Today is a beautiful Sunday. Perfect sunny day, the most pleasant temperature, no wind, no dust, no flies. And also silence on the farm.
I had built a "nethouse" for my vegetable garden, but the veggies seem not wanting to grow. We had a long drought, few days of very heavy rain,and no cooler days. The great advantage of placing a net all over is the absence of white butterflies and other flying critters. I was just not prepared for what came under the earth - ants. The hardest one to kill using natural methods.
I remember the year I arrived at the farm how bountiful we had. Vegetation was lush, wild cucumbers and other goodies grew abundantly, trees were carried with juicy fruits, and best of all, I had a great vegetable garden cultivated with minimum of knowledge. This year, the poncan orange tree shriveled, lychee tree got some kind of new bacteria, no cashews, no mangoes, and almost no avocado. The new fruit trees that I planted yielded sour or tasteless oranges. Except for lime tree, everything else seems to have gone wrong. Can you believe that my smooth skin chayottes grew some tough spikes? I only collect the young ones, as the older ones can really hurt.
I watched a TV rural program this morning. It said that the swine raising is having many losses and some towns have gone to emergency state. It is really hard to bear with all the heartbreaking that farming brings. It doesn't depend solely on hard work, but on the weather, the international market, the world economy and everything else. I still don't know what I should do in case my chicken coop tenant decides to leave, or if my mother's pension stops. I greatly depend on these two for steady income and family survival. As I have told you before, my farm is almost all rented out, and I have kept a part of it for my orchard and garden. I don't even have animals such as pigs, cows, goats, sheep or chickens. In truth, I can't have some of them because of my dogs, some other because of lack of know how, range free chickens for the prohibition for having commercial egg farm here. The only thing that I could have were pigs, but my daughter said that she loves spare ribs, bacon, sausage, loin so much that can't have them. So we continue having dogs only. The two cats that I had adopted got killed by our Border Collie mix.
Sometimes I feel that I am not living a real farm life - of course not. I can't have the basic things such as farm animals.
But I still love living on the farm. I wake up early and can breath fresh air while sipping a cup of coffee, which was roasted and grounded by me.
While the farm is not producing as much as I expected, the town is fun. On Sundays, there is a nice farmer's market on main street, close to butcher shops, which we have many alongside with pharmacies. While the restaurants are poor in town, the butcher shops roast beef, pork and chickens for our Sunday lunch. The cheapest and most popular item is the roasted chicken with potatoes. The meat falls apart, while the bones come out clean. Some chickens get seasoned mandioc flour or corn flour stuffing. That's a plus too.
But to me, the real advantage of living on a farm has to do with Sundays which used to be very boring - the "nothing to do" day. Now I expect Sunday specially for being a "nothing to be done"day. I want all the silence it can offer. Like orthodox jews observe their Sabbath, I want my Sunday even motionless. No driving, no going out, no visitors, no phones, no decision to make. I just want to rest my head on a cushion and stare at nothing. Nothing is all on Sundays.