I was out on the farm this Sunday morning checking on the chickens. Right next to them is a field that must have been cultivated yesterday. It was relatively early, so the sun hadn’t yet heated the day. As I walked out onto the field, the smell of fresh, fertile soil was so strong and sweet. To me, that smell now represents fertility, health, and a promise of good food to come.
It is interesting how we acclimate to our environment. Cities smell so completely different to a farm. When I walk down the canal road I realize there is no smell coming from our neighbor’s field, which will lie fallow until next spring. As I walk further down the canal, there are mornings when I smell the application of RoundUp, or some other type of chemical. In the summer, as they harvest the tomatoes, we are often blessed with the smell of fermenting tomatoes. That smell is the signal that the flies will get bad really soon.
One of the most interesting smells on the farm is a particular day in summer, usually late July. The sky looks different, the sun looks different, and the air smells different. For me it is always a signal that summer is speeding past us and fall will be here soon. I can’t really describe it, but it happens every year. Autumn is here, the leaves are beginning to turn, and the soil smells wonderful.