Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

being committed

 The farmers have started turning up the ground. Trees are blooming and spring is in the air. Now living in a farming community all this stuff is just a matter of course. Funny part to me is, I know next to nothing about it any of it. I always say, if I was the farmer, I'm afraid we would all starve to death. I can smell that fertilizer and know what that means. Some of it is very distinctive, chicken manure, and that much I can identify. I can't tell what crop is what beyond the obvious ones. I know corn when I see it, but have a hard time determining if it is sweet corn or field corn. I've had it explained to me several times but still get confused. Well I'd be putting the corn on the dinner table instead of in the silo ! I'm certain I would quickly figure it out if I tried to eat that corn. I do recognize some other crops like soy beans and watermelons. As I said, I'm not much of a farmer.
 The whole process of farming is a bit of a mystery to me. Oh, I know the basics like everyone else, plow the ground, plant some seeds and watch it grow. Then comes the harvest and you make your money. It is everything in between that is the mysterious part. I don't believe you can understand an occupation until you have worked that occupation. You can read books about it, you can have folks tell you about it but that ain't knowing how to do it. An old acquaintance of mine was fond of saying, understanding it ain't doing it, doing it is doing it. You can't argue with that logic. I understand a little about being a waterman, not at the expert level, but a working knowledge of that occupation. I figure that is what farming must be like, only on land. A whole lot of what you do and know comes from experience. The expense comes from the equipment needed to ply your trade. Whether it is bait or seed, you gotta start somewhere. Settin' a net is knowing where to put it and planting a crop is knowing where to plant it and when.
 So much in life is just what you become used to. I didn't grow up on a farm and didn't have any friends that were farmers either. Well at least friends that I hung out with that is. I went to school with farmers, potato farmers mostly. I wasn't around farm animals much either. I don't much care to be around large animals, they make me nervous. I'm not afraid of them but would just as soon leave them alone. In my experience most of them smell bad anyway. Not a big fan of horses either. I've ridden the tame ones, but they might change their mind about you riding on them at any minute. No thanks, I'll walk. I've been on field trips with the grandkids to the dairy farm too. Not a very pleasant experience. Watch out if that cows tail goes up. It's like a warning flag, step quickly away from the area.
 I could see myself farming though. They do enjoy that same independent spirit of the watermen. It must be satisfying to work your own land. You can make your own hours as well. I'm thinking it is just like the watermen though, those hours that you make will be long and hard. You do have to work to be independent ! I think a lot of folks don't understand that portion of the deal. I understand it completely. Independence isn't a free ride, you have to work at that. Then you need the cooperation of mother nature. If she doesn't go along with the plan all can be lost and quickly. We are supposed to get some rain today, heavy at times. That isn't the best rain for farming, a slow gentle watering is best. I'm planning on putting in some cucumbers this year, make some bread and butter pickles this fall. That'll be my crop !
 Farmers and watermen. Both bring in a crop that is vital to life. We have both in abundance around these parts. I enjoy seeing the boats on the bay and the tractors in the fields. I wonder just what those farmers are doing while things are growing ? I expect there is plenty to keep them busy. Now I've often thought being a tree farmer might be my kind of farming. Plant them and wait. Might be rough in the beginning, to get them stared real good, but after that should be easy. Of course you would have to worry about fire. Working the water is a rough way to make a living no doubt about that. Some folks have a romantic notion about all of that but I'm here to tell you that is a myth. I've known many a watermen and they don't think it is a bit romantic. Yes, they share that fierce independent spirit and have would only be described as an addiction to it, but it ain't all the storytellers would have you believe. I guess you could say, it takes an addiction to be a farmer or a watermen. You do have to be committed ! Or at least you should be.