Flying Time at The Open Gate Farm
September 20, 2011
Flying Time at The Open Gate Farm
It’s Harvest Jubilee week! This is the weekend we give farm tours to hundreds of folks who come from near and far to taste life on a farm and teach their kids that chickens have two legs and ducks can lay eggs as well and how lettuce grows. We’re open our regular Wednesday through Saturday 9 to 5 schedule, but Saturday is the big day. There will be booths in town and maps here for getting to all 18 of the open farms and farm businesses. Rain or shine, it’s going to happen and we’re delighted to be part of it. Come on by! We picked up extra flour and sugar and cinnamon and will be ready with lots of lettuce too!
If you want to come by early and avoid the crowds of Saturday, you can. And here’s what you’ll find (notice a change in the Wednesday bread!):
Farmer’s Produce Market
|Lettuce $2.50||Cinnamon Rolls $3.50|
|Green Leaf (Bergam’s)||Snickerdoodle Cookies $1.00|
|Red Leaf (Silvia)||Breads: $6|
|Butter Head (Goldie)||Wednesday – Cheese Rings and Loaves|
|Romaine (Star)||Thursday – Oatmeal / Molasses|
|Red Leaf (Divina)||Friday – Challah $8|
|Zucchini! $1.00 / lb.||Saturday –|
|Scarlet Runner Beans||Whole Wheat & Olive / Cheese Boats $2|
|Kale $2.50||Sweet Black Currant Scones $1.50|
|Scotch||Sourdough every day|
|Dinosaur||Sticky buns and Sticky Babies!|
|Basil Bunches $2.50||
|Garlic – braids and bulbs||Rock Rose|
|Butterfly Bush – purple|
The Farm Store
|Red Osier Dogwood|
|Rain City Crunch $6.50/ bag||High Bush Cranberry|
|Rain City Granola $10 / pound||Herbs for your windowsill|
|Cool! Our Own Farm T-shirts!||Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate|
|Black Swan Coffee! Smooth..|
A long time ago, a kind doctor explained to us that people live in two kinds of time. There is “in time”, and there is “on time”.
He explained that “in time” is when we start to wax the car at 8 in the morning and suddenly it’s noon. We lose ourselves in the activity and live so intensely in the present moment time passes unnoticed. We see that happen here at the farm occasionally when we get into a good weeding session. We’re ripping away and all of a sudden we’re late for lunch.
“On time”, on the other hand, is when you start to wax the car at 8:00 and you get it done in 20 minutes because you still have to get to the grocery store to pick up the deli tray for the wedding reception, wrap the present, get all four kids dressed and everyone down to Everett at 10:45 for the 11 o’clock wedding.
Here at the farm, we live like this every morning the stand is open. By nine o’clock we have to have all the cinnamon rolls and breads baked, the 5 kinds of lettuce, 3 kinds of kale, beans, tomatoes, basil, radishes, raspberries, and blackberries harvested, and all the signs out on the roads around here.
We live frantically “on time” until 9, and then appear to drop back into “in time” living as we greet customers and friends who come by for veggies and sweets and a plant or two and maybe to tell us a story about their latest dinner party.
We see some great “in time” living done here on the farm. The ducks and chickens are a regular reminder that life away from a clock can be a pleasant one. Not a single one owns a wrist watch, yet they do fine. When hungry, they drift across the lawn eating crane flies or other bugs. When they get hot and tired, they head to the shade of the tractor and watch us head off to our latest appointment and discuss how we people need to slow down. They’ll gather around their swimming pool and discuss the lettuce crop or perhaps whether more worms can be found in the orchard or the nursery. They are very present in the present moment.
Because the bulk of our time appears to visitors to be lived “in time” with a hammock swinging attitude, many assume we’re retired and this is just a nifty little hobby. That your farmer may take a nice nap in the afternoons only enhances this idea. But the truth of the matter is the nap is because he started baking at 4 or 5 in the morning and by noon he’s already gotten in his 8 hours and it’s a long way until the 5 p.m. closing which usually doesn’t happen until 6. Then there’s at least 20 minutes more to go pick up the signs. We live our lives here mostly “on time” and by doing so create an “in time” experience for those who come by.
Retirement, vacation, time off…they all stretch out before us, beckoning us to live more intensely in the present moment, don’t they? They all call us to leave the clock, to live outside the relentless march of time. They all are a taste of that fountain Ponce de Leon sought, the fountain of eternal youth. He looked all around Florida for it because older folks see children as doing a great job of living in the present moment. As they swing or slide or dig in the dirt, they are oblivious to the limits of time. They don’t see the pressure mounting in their parents as their mother or father checks their watch and then calls the child from play to join them in an “on time” life. “Time to go!” is announced and tears flow as the child gets one more lesson in how our culture controls us. Becoming a civilized person is not always a joy it seems.
It’s tempting to think we gain cooperation, community, and a good life by learning to live “on time”, but do we really? The children at play in the sand together or learning to take turns on the swings are doing that without a clock hanging over their heads. What we teach them is that checking the clock can raise blood pressure, cause interruption in sweet hours, even bring tears.
We suppose that as long as some folks do live by a clock, live their lives “on time”, the rest of us will have to humor them and show up at 11 for the weddings of life or hustle to have the stand ready by 9, but it is tempting to think of what would life be like if we all lived “in time”. How would your life change if you lived for an hour, a day, or even a week “in time”, lived without a watch or appointment book? It could be charming, attractive, pleasant, and who knows, we might find Ponce de Leon there, chatting with the ducks and chickens about why the sun moves through the sky, not just how time flies when you’re having fun.
Jon and Elaine, the timeless farmers, Snickers the clock watching dog, Mystery the clockless cat, Ben and his flock of casual chickens, and the Parson Dudley Brown and his flock of relaxed ducks, all of whom live joyfully at
The Open Gate Farm
269 Russell Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
Open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9 to 5 until weather or lack of customers closes us down.