Pen and Pepper Farm. It took hours of going over the spreadsheets for each crop, trying to make sure we had the right amounts, researching different varieties, comparing prices and availability in different catalogs. But finally we had it all figured out and committed.
Now we're at the moment of maximum potential. Though we know what vegetables and varieties we'll be growing, it's all still theoretical. We don't have anything in the ground yet. Heck, we haven't even seen the ground yet--we don't get our incubator plot assignments until late March. But the farm is fully populated in our imaginations now, rows of kale and lettuce and beans in the sun. Overflowing baskets of peppers and tomatoes fill our tables at the farmer's markets.
It feels like we've just completed auditions for a play. The roles are all cast, and in our minds we can jump ahead to visualize the final production, with everyone perfectly in character, on the ideal and as-yet-unbuilt set, in front of packed houses. No messy compromises on the script have happened yet, no struggling through rough patches in rehearsal, no small houses on rainy Thursday nights. Everything can still go right. And it might. It might turn out even better than I imagine.
In the production of play, or in the creation of a garden or farm, this is a moment that doesn't last long. The process of turning it all into reality will come, and get messy and fun and hard, and I wouldn't miss any of it. But this moment of gleaming optimistic potential is one worth savoring.