Farming on Sunday

This past Sunday my husband was sitting in the cab of a tractor planting. I wish I could say this was unusual but this year there have been plenty of Sundays when farmers weren’t getting a day of rest.

We’ve been getting steady rain in North Carolina and this planting season it seems to fall Monday through Friday. That leaves Saturday and Sunday for fieldwork, if the fields are dry enough.

Farmers have a window to keep seeds planted. The later planting is, the less time the plant has to grow, mature, and produce a good crop.  For example, sweet potatoes need at least 90 days, on average, in the field to grow a good stand of dirt candy.

Weekend work means family time in the tractor. Our middle son especially loves riding and points out all the fields he has helped plant or pick. Last weekend he sat in the buddy seat as his dad planted soybeans in a field that just a few days before had been full of wheat.  He and his older brother rode with their poppa in the combine to pick that wheat. 

Work on the weekend can mean breakfast, lunch, and dinner are delivered to the field.  It’s shared over the hood of a pickup or on the tailgate, a quick bite while the boys play along the field edge.

Our boys are learning that getting the job done sometimes means early mornings, late nights, and long weekends in the tractor cab. They see that some things, like the weather, are out of your control, meaning sometimes you work around Mother Nature. While you may want to relax, or do something fun, work has to come first. This is especially true in farming when a day can be the difference in getting a field planted or waiting another week for it to dry out from a soaking rain. 

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