Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Lots of equipment keeps rolling out of our shed.

The semis are/have been taken to get their check-ups and have had a fresh wash.

There are people along the drive to town working, rolling, hauling, harvesting.

Posts on Facebook show that folks are working.

However, we wait.

We're not there yet, and it's starting to get itchy. No one wants to start too soon, no one wants to wait too long. Everyone in our operation knows it's not quite time, but everyone is also getting that anticipation anxiety.

Joe's happy to watch the Cardinals as the end of the season draws near (did you see the almost no-hitter last night??? Amazing, and a bummer at the same time.), but I know that he's thinking constantly at what's ahead. The guys are hoping for a good harvest, a safe harvest, an easy harvest, but with our track record and the weird weather, we're all bracing for some craziness.

So, we're not there yet, but I promise as soon as we get there, I'll let you know.

For now, I'll just stock up on Nutty Bars and try to keep my boy from climbing all over the tractors that are so close to our driveway, you can smell them!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Food Wars, Again

I'm baaaaacccckkkk.

Well, not really, I just happen to be at home on a preschool day, and my little man is happily playing by himself. So, instead of cleaning the swampy bathroom or unloading the dishwasher/dryer/washing machine (you pick), I'm blogging.

All for you, dear readers.

All for you.

Anyway, did you know the Food Wars are waging on? Still? I know, I know, this again... but they won't go away. Have you seen the latest anti-agriculture, not correct in the slightest commercial?  Chipotle has taken to the marketing waves ala Panera, and has put out this product, and, consequently, put-off, a lot of agricultural folks. Through the same methods of fear and misinformation, Chipotle tells the tale of Big Burrito and the Big Ag industry and the lovely Scarecrow who loves the earth and feeds the world, one burrito at a time.

And while I know I should have more of a knee jerk, "That's not RIGHT!" reaction, I find myself just sighing. Because, honestly, I'm tired of this fight. I don't feel like it's fair, and obviously, what we're doing to advocate is not working. And while this argument is frustrating and the information is incorrect, it's STILL HAPPENING, and apparently, people are STILL BELIEVING IT.

Thus, I become frustrated.

I can't change anyone's mind, but the food wars wage on, and thanks to social media, information overload, over-consumerism, and obviously the NEED for healthy burritos (is this an oxymoron?), the American public seems to just go with whatever is "trending." Which reminds me...did you know the Today Show has a hard-hitting news segment every morning of "What's Trending Today," which includes all things that seemingly were scrounged from the pages of the National Inquirer.

I'm digressing.

What I began to say was that although I cannot change anyone's mind, and because I refuse to chain myself to Chipotle's doors with a picture of my hardworking husband on a t-shirt and get some publicity, my story won't be told, and those of the lovely small-farmer Scarecrow in Chipotle's ads will get more air time than Joe and Anna working calves on a Sunday afternoon.

Because that's BORING! We're boring. We're not money grubbing Big Ag producers. We're BORING people who work like dogs during the day and fall asleep watching the Big Bang Theory at night. Life around here isn't sensationalized like what you see on ridiculous 20/20 investigative reports or in stupid commercials depicting farmers as corporate big head, arrogant and greedy men. We're folks who want it to rain to put our crop out of danger so we can pay for preschool, and the operating loan, and our increasing grocery bill.

So, I'm tired of this fight, because I'm starting to think our angle is wrong. I'm wondering if because the American public believes advertising more than a personal story, maybe I should chain myself to a Chipotle door (date night, honey!). Maybe I should sensationalize our farm lifestyle to get some more press.

Or maybe I should just get back to cleaning the bathroom and folding laundry, because that's more up my alley.

I'm tired of this fight, because it's not fair. In light of the message Chipotle is trying to send of kindness and loving and caring farmers, they're actually being kind of jerks to farmers. They are a profit based company, which is fine by me, but don't attack another's livelihood to make a bigger bang and thus bigger bucks. That's not fair, and neither kind nor loving nor nice.

If we'd all let each other do our own jobs, the ones that we are good at, trained for, and care about, wouldn't life be a lot easier?

With that, I should get back to what I do the best...and clean the bathroom.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Long Time, No Blog

You know the excuses:

I'm busy.

I'm hot (we're on day 157...well not really...of HOT weather).

I have writer's block.

I'm hot.

Either way, it's been awhile, and I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for my next post (ha, ha), but you've also already been there yourself.


That's the bottom line. As far as advocating for agriculture, I'm still the first to stand up and tell my story, but here's the deal: farming, the actual job of farming, right now kind of stinks.

It's dry. Remember a few months ago when it was wet? Well, it's now the opposite. Remember how we couldn't buy a dry day in the spring? Now we can't pray enough to God to send rain to save our beans.
Remember how lush and green the corn crop looked in my first few pictures of the corn growth journal?

Those are the only ones I took.

It's now too hot, and the corn is starting to look snarly, in a semi-good, nearing harvest time way, but I don't have the mental energy to be okay with farming as a means of employment right now, so why would I take a picture of it?

Seasoned farmers will call me weak. Those who have "been there, done that" will cry, "whiner!" And maybe I am, but this lack of control, this doing everything right for it to be zapped by unrelenting dry weather is hard, on everyone. Not just the farmer's wife...the farmer sitting across from me at the dinner table has a new worry line across his brow. The kids notice that we're short with each other. Jack even came rushing out of his bed, long after we assumed he was asleep the night we finally received enough rain to make a semi-dent on the crusted, crack soil.

It's too much.

I'm not sure how much I can take, but I will tell you, we won't quit. We're pressing onward, because unlike a job that you can go and complain to the supervisor or boss or manager when your working conditions are unsuitable, we'd have to take it up to the man upstairs. Let me tell you, I have. God knows what we need, but God also knows how much we can handle, and evidently, he thinks I have nerves of steel.

Although this is a whiny, woe-is-me post, I would like to end with the thought that we are fine. We aren't in Syria...we are healthy...we are surrounded by love and family and are safe. So what if it's dry? That's what crop insurance is for, right? We've planned for disaster, you just hope to never have to really use that plan.

My hopes is that by coming clean with my worry, my mojo of writing will come back. My lightheartedness in the face of darkness will return, and I'll start laughing about dirt and dust, instead of throwing the broom at the floor...which may or may not have ever happened.

In the meantime, friends, pray for peace in the world. My peace of mind is so small, and in light of the date today, pray that we on this Earth can learn to figure out how to get along with others, and maybe then we can consider writer's block and heat big problems, not bombings and killings.