Monday, May 12, 2008

Sowing the Seeds

When I was growing up I had an image of farming. It was a vague and general one- people in their overalls not working overly hard, and sitting on tractors all day thinking and singing. I conjured up images of peaceful, non-stressed days of farmers just doing what they liked and what they knew. In my mind, farming looked easy.

Not so. Farming is hard labor. My back will tell you so. I spent the majority of my Saturday helping to get the land ready for our garden. I had no idea what we were in for. I thought I was just going to go plant my seeds and watch it grow. I had not a clue that there would be hours of raking through silage and scooping out rocks only to bring each bucketful of a variety of rock sizes over to the nearby creek. Scoop, dump, scoop, dump- it seemed to never end. And it still didn't come to fruition, so to speak. The organic material we used wasn't breaking down finely enough even after many tilings with the tractor and numerous raking and scooping from us. We're going to wait a few days until the weather warms and try it again before we seed.

However, the aches were well worth it. I loved having dirt embedded in my nails. It felt indescribable to be so muddy and messy. And the children had such a new and exciting experience. Each worm was bigger than the one before which brought mad squeals. My big kids helped out more than I thought possible. And they enjoyed being connected to the earth- they reveled in digging their toes down deep and burying their legs. And my little guy had probably the best day of his small life- he watched John Deere- his new best friend go around and around. He got his favorite hand-me-down truck to work and spent hours at my side in his own world. And in overalls and singing- just like a real farmer.

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