- November 10th, 2011
“Venduras en Novembre, Maria?”, asked Luis yesterday as we packed up some collards greens to take into Louisville. “Si”, I said with a smile. Other than going out to pick lettuce for a fresh salad of the evening, we hadn’t picked much since our CSA’s ended at the end of October. This weather has been too amazing lately…for some reason I can’t get myself to sit in the office chair too long.
We are still watching the weather like crazy! We need rain so it will get the tobacco “in case” (soft enough to get out of the barn without it being crunchy and crumbling), we don’t need it to rain because we have a lot of corn that needs to “dry down” so that we can harvest it (too much moisture will result in price discounts at the point of sale), we need the soil to dry out so we can work the ground to plant garlic. In other words, the weather is going to dictate what we can do and when we can do it….time is of the essence for working the soil….winter is near!
I must take a minute to reach out and thank all those who helped elect our new Commissioner of Agriculture. I didn’t think the ag community ourself could elect him, but I did think that if we reached out to those who enjoy the fruits of our labor and helped educate, we as Kentuckians would make the right decision. Regardless of political lines, or nice people, I am confident Mr. Comer will do a fantastic job for all of Kentucky. As a farmer himself, he understands many of the underlying issues our profession faces, the need for opportunities, and on and on. We really are blessed to be able to come together as a state and elect our leaders—whether we agree or not on the outcome, it’s wonderful we can have an opinion that matters! All too often we take the “little things” for granted.
I had an amazing opportunity last week to speak at a class at U of L. It was such an uplifting experience to see college “kids” wide-eyed and interested in learning of how we raise food for people and then market it– or market it then raise the food…. They seemed interested in learning of how we sell “real food to real people” through our CSA and to schools, and groceries, and fascinated that we can harvest 1000 bushels of soybeans at once and deliver it at once that will be added to our food system to aid in feeding thousands of people. They found it interesting that I saw a watermelon grown on our farm sitting on the produce bench at Kroger 12 miles away, but many days later. They were intrigued to learn that I have choices to choose seeds that will produce a delicious, sweet, juicy fruit on one that is semi-orange and hard like what you can get on a taco at Taco Bell that will be considered “good” for several weeks once picked. They found it interesting as I shared with them what motivates people to purchase food from whom and where they do. I really think I was able to add to their lives. As for one gal, I really do think it was the first time she “thought about the work that goes into getting food to her plate”. WOW.
Most of the time I only share events and occurrences of our farm workers and what goes on here. Since the vegetable season has slowed I’ve taken the kids to do some “much needed things”….like helping Shane when we can move equipment and visit my parents. Often times people ask “why do you do what you do?” Two quick stories of stopping to “smell the roses” of life that I had the pleasure of enjoying. It was a recent Saturday and I took the kids to Washington County where my parents live and farm on the farm where I grew up. They love it there, as do I. Papa was having a pond being repaired—lots and lots of sludge had accumulated and needed removed. (His plans are to fence it off and rig up a self-watering system for the cattle so they can drink without tearing up the banks of the pond). While we were there, the dozer operator called to tell him he needed to take out part of his existing fence at the bottom of hill because this sludge was heading down there at a quick pace and he feared it tearing up his fence. Being a nice daughter who really misses farming with her dad on a daily basis, I offered to help. Mama gave me some old clothes and I borrowed a pair of my brother’s muck boots….well we were making progress when I went to lift my right leg up to learn my boot wasn’t going anywhere, but I was—as I grabbed the woven fence wire to hold me up I realized we had already cut that piece…and I landed in the mud. One side of my body—totally covered! As some would have gotten mad, Papa and I laughed—as too did the kids when they saw me. Life is too short to not experience things like that with people you love, doing things you love. Often times I realize I take our farming too serious because of the financial stresses, future planning, etc. I hope Shane and I can create an farm that Elly will want to come back to and not mind accidentally falling in the mud with Shane when she’s 30!!
The other experience was one that was so precious and quickly became a highlight. The kids and I went over to a farm in Clay Village (about 8 miles from our home farm) to help move some grain equipment. The landlord there has a small herd of sheep. As I drove into the farm I noticed what I thought was a plastic bag out in the pasture. I made a mental note that when we came back through to hop out and pick-it-up. As we were leaving, we stopped to open the gate and saw a teeny-tiny lamb that hadn’t been born for more than a few hours. Then we saw more. They were absolutely precious. I pulled the truck up and got out walking over to the “plastic bag” to realize it was a tiny lamb also. Looking at it and showing the kids I noticed far off there was a mother lamb baa-ing—-obviously upset and frantically looking for something. I scooped up the white ball and carried it to it’s mother—as they were both crying, it brought tears to my own eyes. New life is amazing. On our farm we get to see it with seeds, but watching the emotions come to life in this mother and baby was special. Thank you to our landlord for allowing us to farm your farm, and accidentally show our children another miracle of farm-life!
Well, I hope this week finds you enjoying the many beauties of the seasons. During the day working outside you are likely to have broken a sweat to wake up to frost covered lawns. Even though most of the harvests from our farm are finished, we are going to enjoy some meatloaf tonight made with ground beef from my parent’s farm, peppers and tomatoes from here, with a side of winter squash….and pumpkin muffins for dessert—to be drizzled with honey. Hope you are already enjoying the items you stashed away for the cooler months!
From our Family to Yours,