And family! And boyfriend…and well, moral support from the farm dogs too right?
This year I decided to take on the adventure of part-time produce farming and grow three whole acres of winter squash. For those of you that don’t measure in acres, that’s 130,680 square feet or roughly three football fields including the end zones.
Little did my family and friends know that they would be farming too! Bless their souls and sore backs because without them, I would be out of luck, and probably giving up on this whole farming idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors, and how farming has replaced my gym membership with better results, but it is hard. Farming can break you, and I don’t mean your back – though that definitely does happen. Without the unconditional love and help from others that I’ve received, I would be overwhelmed.
You see, that’s how farming is. It isn’t about the farmer that’s trying to get away from everyone and become a recluse in the hills somewhere, although those do exist. Farming is about community. My dad talks about growing tobacco with his neighbors back when he was a teenager. They would go out during planting and harvest season to work, laugh, bond, and of course, eat great-grandma’s home-cooking for lunch. I’ve heard that there was nothing more rewarding than her apple pie, even if that last bite made you too full to bend over in the field.
Anyways, what I’m getting at is that anyone with a hard work ethic and a strong mind can farm, with a little help from old friends and new. That’s truly cooperative living, isn’t it?
Maybe next year I’ll give out prizes. Weed 4 rows and get a bushel of tomatoes from the garden. Pick 1000 lbs of grade 1s and get a free back massage courtesy of me!