September 5, 2018

Rain dominated the week this week, and the forecast is calling for more rain every day next week. This much rain is very scary for us because it tends to cause crops to rot in the field and if it rains on market days, that can also be bad. Presently, we have lost some melons, and the rain has made our cherry tomatoes split and not taste as good, similar to the effect it had on our strawberries earlier this season.  Further, most produce that is harvested ripe will not keep for a week for the next market. If there is a significant reduction in people showing up to buy farmers’ produce at markets, it can be very hard on farmers.  We remain hopeful, and to be truthful, I still feel tremendously grateful for the gifts that this season has provided.

Perspective can be powerful when things are seemingly going awry. This weekend, for example, our roof started leaking on the house, some of our fields are saturated to the point of flooding, and our plastic on our greenhouses has stretched with the rain, creating pockets where water collects. Also, most of the remaining cantaloupe are dying of mildew diseases. That is just the rain-related issues. We have three vehicles that require some kind of major repair, and I have started back on my off farm job, which leaves me much less time to address some of these. I could feel overwhelmed and targeted by these, and it would be easy to do.

When I view my situation from a more objective distance, however, I see that everything is just fine. This morning, I woke up and placed my feet on the ground. That alone is a miracle. I briefly talked to one of my children, and I kissed Susan goodbye before she left for work. I saw the crew this morning before I left for work, and they were in good spirits as they headed to the fields to see what food the farm was going to offer us this week. Matt informed me that while some of the fall crops looked wet, that they also looked healthy. In addition, I made a large breakfast before leaving for work, and I saved a little toast and egg for my dogs who enjoyed the quiet moment with me this morning.

Each of my morning activities and encounters is a miracle. I am not guaranteed any day, but I was offered today. Many in our world did not wake up today. Many more, way too many, will wake with no means to quench their hunger. Others will wake up lonely, longing for the opportunities for love and friendship that I came way too close to taking for granted this morning. Somewhere, a farmer will walk out of his or her field for the last time, unable to sustain one more season due to forces beyond his or her control. In some hospital, probably not far away, a father will hold his child for the last time as her small body no longer has the strength to fight anymore. He will never know the joy of a brief conversation about her first day back to college like I had the privilege of having this morning.

So, we face challenges on the farm every week. The weather and equipment are presenting us with opportunities to test ourselves. I fixed the leaking roof on the house early this morning before work. I will replace the front bearings on my car after work tomorrow, and as we head into the fall, we will continue to harvest whatever crops the soil gives us. In the process, I will be thankful for the fruits of the land that give me life, and the people and animals in my life who give me joy and love. After all, is there really anything else that one needs?

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