Friday, June 1, 2012

Idyllic Life of a Farmer, A Behind the Scenes Look

Farming looks idyllic, but there is real science, logic and precision behind everything we do
 As I ride my bike around our country roads I pass by this newer little house that has gone through 2 owners in probably 5 years and now sits vacant.  Living in the country - you make a point to know who your neighbors are, and as soon as someone new moves in, I make the friendly gesture of going over and introducing myself and taking them a baked goodie.  In visiting I get to hear their "story" of why they moved to our area.  Both past owners had this image in their mind that, "it would be wonderful to live in the country, have a garden, sit on their front porch with a drink in hand  and enjoy the fresh air and peace & quiet of living on their own little piece of heaven...... well as idyllic as it first seemed, both owners were unprepared for all the actual hard work that comes with living in the country.  The allure of the beautiful farmsteads around here

Uncle John & Aunt Mary's farmstead

Phyllis' pristine place (& my bike)

didn't really give a hint of all the actual work behind the scenes to take care of a place.  Like all the quality time spent with the backpack sprayer  for starters.....
My personal backpack sprayer

And if you pass by the fields that are growing lush and beautiful, there is a lot more going on to keep our crops healthy, we don't just drop seed in the ground  and then show up a few months later to harvest it.   Nope there are countless hours of  monitoring the crops for signs of bugs or staying on top of the weeds, picking rocks out of the fields so the combine doesn't encounter them, fixing/repairing equipment & office work, and probably more that I have forgotten to add, but you get the picture.  Growing What Goes on Your Dinner table is a lot like the board-game called "The Farming Game". Farmers begin at START by planting a crop, we try to avoid the pitfalls along the way, some of which we can be avoided like keeping our crops healthy from diseases and bugs but weather is always a "chance card" & you get what you are dealt 'cuz Mother Nature doesn't take requests or orders, and  in the end, we hope we WIN  the game by getting to harvest our crop. An interesting tid-bit, some farmers borrow more to put their current crop in than what most people will borrow in their lifetime, and a farmer will do it year after year.  So in essence with huge investment into our crops, you can better bet that we are very careful with what we put on our fields and only put on what is needed, where it is needed and no more than needed -

Right now as I write, Farmers Joe & Jay and Cody have been out today checking crops, spraying the fields and generally keeping a very close eye on the paycheck that is growing out there.  We will be wanting some rains through June as that is what will determine what our yields will be - so guess I'll go wash the windows or car or something or maybe - if no one is looking, try out a new rain dance.

Many thanks for dropping by and as always shoot me an email if you have questions at  If you have an extra minute, CommonGround has a great article on the safety of GMO food.  All my best, Gayle


  1. Oh, this made me laugh! Unfortunately, it also makes me a little sad, as we've had experiences with people moving out to the "country" for peace & quiet who don't understand that when the wind machines go on at 1 a.m. it makes a big difference in whether that orchardist makes a living or not. There have been instances of wind machines being turned off and once one was shot at! So, laughter and tears--Keep up the great work!