This morning I was out setting up a new pasture for the cows, but I had to wait for my son who had gone back to the house to get something we had forgotten. At first I was frustrated at having left my phone in the truck because I could have gotten some work done while I waited, but then a cloud passed overhead and shadowed me for a few minutes. Naturally, I looked up so I could see this cloud that had offered me a small bit of relief on this miserably hot day. I found that there just wasn’t one cloud. The sky was filled with them and they were magnificent! I could see them drifting along at different heights, some moving along faster than others. There were various kinds, as well. Some were those puffy ones that we used to look at when we were young and carefree to try to find in them some familiar shape, like a lion or maybe a castle. Others took on a more streamlined look, with strands tailing off into the distance as if the clouds had been knitted together long ago, but are now coming unraveled as they move across the sky. I realized at once that I had forgotten how beautiful clouds can be. It’s just that I’ve been so busy for so long that I’ve stopped looking up.
Then I tried to remember the names for the different types of clouds. It’s been a long time since I even thought about clouds, let alone their names. I think it’s sad, really, how much knowledge I have gained and lost over the years because a particular piece of information wasn’t useful enough for me to keep it handy for later. I absolutely love learning, but for so many years I had to concentrate on what I needed to know for my occupation that I ended up letting so much of the fun stuff go. And yet, I still remember a lot of things that aren’t particularly useful, but come in handy from time to time. For instance, I still remember a lot of the latin names for plants that I learned in college, which is weird since I don’t need them now that I’m working with vegetables. To be fair, though, my wife still uses the latin names when she’s working on her floral arrangements and gardens so I am getting quizzed periodically. And that’s a good thing.
My love of learning hasn’t diminished over the years. If anything, I’ve gotten even more curious. It’s just that what I concentrate on learning has changed and adjusted according to what I need to know at a particular point in my life. When I was a teacher, I had to study both the methods of teaching and the content I was to teach. Now that I’m a full time farmer, I’m back to studying about farming again. I find all of it both fun and satisfying, especially when I get to experiment with the things I’ve learned. I also like to find ways to make that knowledge useful so I don’t forget it, like I forgot the names of those clouds above my head.
If you like learning as much as I do, keep watching the Augusta Locally Grown website for classes we will be starting soon. We will have some multi-week garden classes and also a variety of classes that will last one evening where people can learn a particular skill, like baking bread, making yogurt, composting, and many others.
Also, if you have a skill you would like to teach others, send me a message or come by the Veggie Park market at the HUB on Thursday evenings 3:30-7:00pm and let’s talk about fitting you into the schedule!