I haven’t blogged in a really long time and I tell you, I’ve missed it. I’ve had lots of stories but when I sit down to write I get stumped. Maybe I’ve had writers block. Well, all I can say is…I’m baaaack! (imagine me saying it in a sing-song voice and you’ll get the picture).
It’s spring break and we’re getting geared up for our CSA. Yesterday we planted plants. 1000 bell pepper, broccoli, and pointed-head cabbage. 1000. My legs are feeling it today. I couldn’t get over the nostalgia as I did it though. When I was little I used to stay with my grandparents when school was out. My Uncle Pat raised tobacco back then and I remember being The Boy’s age and working in the greenhouse some during spring break wading through water an inch or two deep to help move trays of tobacco plants around so they could set them out (best job ever because I got to play in the water!). Later, after I had a car, my sister and I helped with the setting out. She was too young to be a super great setter, so her job was to wash the trays down with bleach. My job was to walk behind the transplanter with a couple of plants and a peg and when the setters (my Aunt Patricia and Mrs. Brenda Scott) forgot one they’d holler to me that they missed and I’d plant that hole. Sometimes when one of them would have something else to do I would take their place on the transplanter. I liked that job way better for obvious reasons, until one of the last days we set. It was cold and rainy and I sat on the back of that thing wrapped up in trash bags shaking with cold trying to set out with numb hands. Even now I still say it was the coldest I’ve ever been. We got a drink and a nab at 10 and 2, and an hour for lunch. It was my first paying job and it was awesome…way better than taking it barns after the tobacco cured, which I also did, with much less success. Hot weather and I have never gotten along well.
We didn’t ride on a transplanter yesterday. The husband ran down the plastic with the water-wheel transplanter and punched holes in the plastic and once he went down a row he stopped and he and I and The Boy stuck plants by hand. The Girl planted some too, because the plants were ‘so cute’ and needed homes. But then she got distracted by lady bugs and asking constantly if she could go to grandma’s and would the ants sting her and a butterfly and picking strawberries. Yes, we do have a few rows of strawberries. No, unfortunately they’ll probably never produce enough for us to be open for picking. We had to plant them so late because of The Flood that they didn’t get the root development they needed before they went into dormancy. The way the weather was this winter (if you could call it that) didn’t help. It was so up and down and then we had that horrible cold spell in March. It’s turned into our personal strawberry patch, or The Girl’s strawberry buffet. We wouldn’t have planted them at all but we didn’t plant the year before and while it was so nice to have the spring ‘off’, we missed having spring school tours. We hoped we’d get enough to still do those and have some for the CSA, but it looks like that’s not going to happen so, Plan B. Anyway, back to what I was talking about which was setting out plants. While we were setting I kept thinking back to helping my Aunt and Uncle set out tobacco, and how great it was that my son was out there planting plants with us, and while we might not be taking some glamourous trip or something this spring break he was learning that hard work means something and if we work hard this spring and summer and fall maybe this winter we can take the glamourous trip. Welcome to farm life.
I maintain that everyone ought to have to work a week on the farm. If it does nothing else it will teach you the value of your education and an appreciation for those who choose to work with their hands (either because they have to or want too). One of the best things it teaches is teamwork. If we all work together towards a common goal there’s no telling what we can achieve. I can think of another place or two that concept might work…
|Our poor strawberry plants.|
|She said "they taste like fruit punch."|
|The Boy is picky like me. He said "they'd be good without the sesame seeds on them." Bless his heart.|
|The sunset we were rewarded with as we prayed for rain.|