Blog Post


There is a rhythm to life. That’s why we say, “You skipped a beat,” or “You’re offbeat,” “Out of sync,” or “Marching to the beat of a different drummer.”

In marching band, Yes, Farmer Hugh was in high school marching band and even in the Penn State Marching Blue Band (Can you guess the instrument? I’ll tell you later in the blog…); the cadence was the drum line’s way to sync the entire band in step.

(Click the video to get a sense of what it’s like to march in front of 100,000 screaming fans 🙂

My son runs cross-country and learned valuable lessons from his coach while suffering through his first season. My son inspired me to get back to running after a long hiatus, and here’s what he shared with me.

Minutes, not miles. His coach would send them out to run for 35 or 45 minutes, not send them to run 6-7 miles. Why?

The “Time on Task” mattered, not the mileage. If you run for 35 or 45 minutes enough days in a row, you’ll get faster and stronger and build endurance. The speed and miles didn’t matter nearly as much as the time you spent running. Speed comes later.

Cadence, not pace. Your pace is how fast you are running each mile in a race. The cadence is how often your feet strike the ground; it’s the rhythm of the run. Ian told me to run the same rhythm and focus on staying in rhythm during the run, and I immediately ran my workouts faster.

The cadence and the consistency of action, not a wild sprint or some superhuman ability, make the difference. No one notices from the outside because the focus is internal.

Growing food is similar. Trees, cornstalks, soybeans, blueberry bushes, and pumpkin vines all have a cadence to their growth.

Pumpkins push from the ground and send vines running far and wide to gather sunlight with broad, spade-shaped leaves. The flowers don’t appear for weeks, but then, once visited by the bees, the flowers transform into miniature future-pumpkins.

Now the pumpkins are ripened, the outer shells hard and brightly colored, hidden from the world under those same leaves, which will stay green until they protect the pumpkins from the first frost.

The rhythm is calling you now. Can you feel it? Cool nights and chilly mornings, and you can feel the beat as it moves you to think of picking apples, taking a crisp bite, then loading up mums and pumpkins to decorate and nest at home this autumn.

Rhythm is meant to move us; we can feel the cadence of changing seasons in our bones. That’s why music is such a powerful language for human beings.

That’s why we feel the pull of Fall Harvest. We have limited harvests remaining, and I’d suggest it would be good fortune to pause with our families for a beat to feel the cadence of the changing seasons in the great outdoors.

Planting, growing, and harvest are the cadence of life.

Can you feel it?

See you soon on the farm,

Farmer Hugh

PS I played trumpet. That makes sense a loud as I am, right?

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