Some people have asked me to blog about farming more. I will! It’s fun for me in many ways.
It is a really cool thing, being part of an organic farm (we’re certified naturally grown, a grassroots alternative to certified organic). It warms my heart.
Yes, we get to eat some of the amazing food that we grow. Like I am going to make a soup from a jumbo pink banana squash soon. We grew it! It’s huge and pink, but the inside is bright yellow. I am so excited!
But farming is hard too.
Like today, I harvested greens in the snow. It was really cold. And my fingers didn’t fall off, but they were kind of tingly. It was ok, everyone involved is ok. I thought about the request for farm related blogs, and I had to write about this.
It was beautiful. The snow was wet and came down in those clumpy balls, downy, heavy. I guess it was snow showers. Off and on. Out in Warren. It was maybe 36 degrees, and I had so many layers on! Shirts, pants, gloves (fingerless – ya have to feel the greens to pick them right), a hat, a scarf… So I was ok. But cold! We picked chicories, lovely greens that are alright in the cold. And I realized that I might be suited for the tropics. Except that pesky bright sun part.
People have been farming in the snow forever. We have to farm in whatever weather is happening. I don’t think this is written about too often. People still need food, whatever the weather is like.
Farm work is hard. No one ever said it wasn’t, but I think it gets abstracted sometimes. No, we are not sitting and playing in the dirt. We are working hard for long hours.
I think it is really fun! And I love the hard parts, like rototilling by hand, wheelhoeing paths between beds fast until your head is spinning and then quick quick pitchforking up chunks of rooty sod leftover from wheelhoeing. I love kneeling and hacking at weeds with this nice japanese knife hoe thing, and swearing about whatever issue is bugging me. I love pulling plants that have bolted or bloomed, then throwing them in a wheelbarrow and into a compost pile. It’s kind of like dancing, and also like backwards situps while standing up. I love seeding and planting starts, watching things grow. Magical exercises.
But it is hard, physically. Don’t forget. Farmers get dirt in their eyes and blisters and frostbite and, yes, excellent muscle tone.
I just wanted to say this so, if you have romantic notions about farming, you will know. You’d better like to exercise and you’d better have good work ethic.
I am glad to have put in some good work today, even though it was snowing.
Thanks for supporting farmers by eating!