Farmers are Crazy

At lunchtime on Friday, we sat at the picnic table under the oak tree, dirty faces, sweat stained clothes...the Farmer, and the four of us who work there in various capacities. We had spent the morning transplanting rows of Swiss chard and lettuce and radicchio and escarole. Two people laid out plants, two followed along covering them with soil. We stretched out irrigation hoses. The Farmer seeded the upper end of the field with her ancient tractor, while we slowly moved from one side of the field to another at the lower end....drop, step, drop, step, drop, step. The temperature was in the upper 90s, the humidity and sunshine and poor air quality alert made it seem at least ten degrees hotter.

And for all that work, the best you can do is pray that the plants will take, that the right bugs will come and the wrong bugs stay away. That your irrigation system won't break because nature has already failed you this dry year. That market day will not be rained out, yet again, when you try to sell your harvested crops. If you're the Farmer that is. The rest of us simply have a newfound appreciation for what it takes to get the food from the land to our plates. I'm a tourist when it comes to farming, but it's a trip I'm glad I'm taking. The Farmer, on the other hand, lives this, day in and day out. That's why I think she's a little crazy. (But I'm very grateful for her beets.)

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