American Agriculturist Logo

An ode to growing, dairying and aging

Farmhouse Window: Time is constantly moving, so be grateful for the time you still have.

Carol Ann Gregg

May 3, 2024

3 Min Read
Dairy cows in a barn looking at the camera
JUNE DAIRY MONTH: All eyes are on the camera when a stranger visits the heifer barn. June Dairy Month will soon be here. It will be a chance to celebrate all things dairy. Carol Ann Gregg

The days are getting longer as we soon enter summer.

Planting is just about to get started, or coming to an end, depending on where you farm.

A farmer I visited several years ago said that he mowed his alfalfa every 21 days. That is a tight schedule to keep throughout the summer. His alfalfa fields showed the care that it takes to keep them producing the lush crop needed to feed his dairy cows. This farm was blessed with gravel ground that provided the drainage the alfalfa needed.

I am looking forward to driving past the farm this summer to see the beautiful green fields waiting their turn to be harvested.

I love planting season. About 30 years ago, my mom gave me a poppy plant to put in my front border. I got it with the understanding that the hole was waiting for this new plant, so that it could be put in its new home immediately. That plant flourished and multiplied until I had a row of bright orange poppies that would begin blooming about Memorial Day.

Then in the winters of 2014 and 2015, we had bitterly cold weather. Many of the plants that would usually survive winter never came back. My row of poppies was reduced to three plants. Over the years, they have dwindled to just one hardy plant. It still blooms with large, delicate orange flowers. I cross my fingers that we don’t get strong winds or rains while it is blooming.

The great thing is that it often blooms about the same time as the iris. It’s like nature is providing us a bouquet to enjoy.

As summer comes along, it will soon be time to think of June Dairy Month. Dairy princesses and dairy maids will be working hard, sharing the story of the importance of dairy to the local economy, as well as the importance of dairy nutrients to our health.

We will see these dairy ambassadors sharing ice cream or cheese at fairs and festivals. The dairy princess program provides wonderful opportunities for girls to become comfortable speaking in public and developing leadership skills. The lessons they learn will last a lifetime.

I seem to be spending less and less time at the desk and computer. It takes longer and longer to do the most basic things. This doesn’t leave much time for writing or doing research like I would in the past. I am not enjoying this change, but it is a reality.

I watch as my dear friends are also going through this process as we age. Slowing down is hard. Having to make decisions about what activities to participate in isn’t easy. For people who have always been active, this is particularly difficult.

My college friends and I are planning to get together for lunch soon. I expect that most of us will be using canes to steady us as we walk into the restaurant. In the early years, we would get together for picnics with our families and spend a wonderful afternoon visiting and watching as all the kids would play together.

Those “kids” are now grown with families of their own, and some of them are also grandparents.

Time continually moves on. I often wish we could stop time for just a little while to catch up. That isn’t going to happen.

When our family was going through a rough time, a friend sent me a reading about being forever grateful. At the time, I didn’t want to hear how about being grateful when things were so bad. Looking back, I see that we need to be grateful regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

There is good in all things. We just need to take time to find it.

In this early summer, when the grass won’t be quite growing and the flowerbeds will need weeded, take time to enjoy the warm, long days. Find a few minutes to reflect on the joys that are around you.

And be forever grateful.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

About the Author(s)

Carol Ann Gregg

Carol Ann Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like