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Feeling like a farmer

04/24/2012 @ 7:51am

I’m feeling like a farmer today.  I’ve beaten the weather twice this year and it’s only April.

Of course, the stakes aren’t really all that high.  I hauled in a bunch of fill last year to a small chunk of the yard and it needed a few pounds of grass seed.  We went about nine months without a rain, which is an issue for planting grass - or at least it is when you’re too lazy to run the sprinkler every 15 minutes.  I was getting a little tired of looking at the bare, black dirt behind the house.  But then a couple of weeks ago I checked the weather forecast, made an executive decision, found the grass seed where I’d stashed it last August, and worked until dark getting my crop planted.

Of course, I didn’t start work until half an hour before dark, but I still felt virtuous when we had cloudy skies and rain showers for a full week.

Last Friday we did the same thing with our potatoes and onion crops.  I do realize that the potatoes were supposed to go in the ground on Good Friday, but I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to that tradition. To carry out that plan in my part of the world, about half of the time you’d need a jackhammer to penetrate the frost. Anyway, this year we waited until the ground was fit and then popped in three kinds of potatoes and a couple varieties of onions, and shortly after we finished we got a couple more days of rain.

Really, if you’ve never done it, I gotta tell you, it’s just about the best feeling in the world.  Again, the stakes aren’t quite as high when I’m talking about a thousand square feet of lawn as opposed to a thousand acres of high-priced crop land, but the pleasure that comes from both working hard and guessing right is still the same.

It’s kind of funny – last week I was talking to someone about my thought process as I try to decide whether I want to run for another term as county commissioner.  She couldn’t understand why it was even a question. I tried to explain that there were days when I felt that I really didn’t accomplish anything and she shrugged and said, “But that’s every job.”

No, it’s not.  NO IT’S NOT!  I know plenty of jobs where you do get something done every day, jobs you can look back at when the day ends and point at what you’ve done.  And, if you look back and see that you haven’t accomplished anything, it’s a very bad day indeed, and you certainly don’t dare have too many of them.

Excuse me if I’m prejudiced, but I think we live in one of the “realest” parts of the country.  Most of the jobs out here, whether you’re talking farming, teaching or carpentering, involve real work, where you see a real difference every day.  I think we underestimate what a blessing that is, to have jobs that matter, that allow you to see something real at the end of the day.

Pardon me – I have to go to a meeting.

But after that, I’m going to water my onions.


Copyright 2011 Brent Olson

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