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View Diary: Work Made a Farmer (119 comments)

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  •  Most Excellent Diary! (7+ / 0-)
    The recurrent theme in Harvey's speech is the hard work involved in farming.
    Oh my gosh, is this so very true!  I even have trouble explaining this to my wife sometimes, and she gets it better than most.
    And this has made us soft. The vast majority of us no longer understand the hard work that it normally takes to live in this world.
    I think that most people, even the ones who idealize farming, and want to get into it for themselves, don't really realize just how hard the work can be.

    To explain to someone, that you should be up at 6am - get a start on the watering and weeding before the temps get above 95 - keep hoeing the weeds in your 5 acres of produce, even through the heat of the day at 103 with no breeze - maybe take a quick dip in the irrigation tank, but work till dark - then get the headlamps out, and water again, then start picking your farmers market crop - get it rinsed, sorted, and packed - load up the truck with everything for the farmers market in the morning - pass out at 2am - back up at 6am to finish loading up, and be setup at the market by 8am - sell till noon - head home, unpack, back out in the fields for the afternoon - work past dark - and then do it all over again - every weekend throughout the growing season - April through November.  By the way, the net profit sucks!  Sometimes, its working for free if you don't make enough at the market, or that you pay for the priviledge of doing that work, because you actually lost money that week.

    Add to this list the skills you need: mechanic/problem solver, plant biologist, weatherman, heavy equipment operator, manual laborer, welder, irrigation specialist/plumber, marketing specialist, etc, etc...

    If you think for a minute that farming is uncivilized work fit only for ignorant people, you have no clue what it really entails, and how smart you need to be in order to get things done.  Nobody buys a farming outfit out of a catalog - you learn how to rebuild your own engines, fix hydraulic line leaks, reweld broken fittings, learn and plan around the complete growth and pest cycles of your plants, plan and figure out advanced crop rotations projecting out for the next 10 years, calculate harvest figures, fix things with duct tape and baling wire - anything to get by on almost no profit.

    Now, try to do all of this with a day job during the week, and raising a family at the same time!!!

    I do it on our family's farm - My grandpa did it - laying down highways as a concrete finisher, then coming home and working past dark every night and all weekend - he did this into his 80's.  The farmer next door, who will give you the shirt off his back, or rip parts from his combine in order to help you get through the harvest - he's 89 years old and still running 10,xxx bales of hay a year and a 5 acre market garden.

    Most people have no clue.

    But, if you can hack it - if you can figure it out - you'll never want to do anything else in the world, because its so satisfying at the same time.  It will nurture something so deep in your soul, you won't know where it came from.  But you won't quit, not until you can't walk anymore.

    Obama saw this a**hole coming a mile away.

    by MusicFarmer on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:30:18 PM PST

    •  Indeed, it's incredibly satisfying work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MusicFarmer

      I love it, myself.

      And anyone who thinks farmers are ignorant hicks obviously ain't too familiar with farmers. The ones I've met have tended to be far more clever, resourceful, and insightful than most people I know.

      Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

      by aimlessmind on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 12:32:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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