Well, here I sit, before my keyboard at 3:00 a.m., its been up about twenty minutes or so and am waiting on the coffee to finish up. I just turned on the Daily Farm Report and was on my knees last night praying for rain, it’s either get that bounty from God, or I’m going to have to get out soon and crank up the irrigation system.
I like this time of the morning, it’s the time when captive souls take flight and it’s also the time for quiet and for to listen to this side of the world stretch and begin the waking cycle.
I farm, that’s what I do, my living comes from the soil, my food, my clothing, etc. etc. etc. etc. Now before you go off half cocked and want to start pointing fingers at me or any of my breed about rising food prices, yada, yada, yada. I have to admit that I am ashamed of most of those that call themselves farmers.
They poison the soil, the air and the water with their inorganic chemical fertilizers, their inorganic pesticides and inorganic herbicides, not to mention they get as careless as a bunch of monkeys at a fire drill with their diesel and gasoline fueled vehicles.
In the thirty years I have been doing what I do, not one time have I resorted to using poisons that will not biodegrade and I damn sure have not polluted the water or the air with inorganics of any type.
Now, last year I took a helluva hit in the drought that still persists in the South-East, and that fact alone made me realize that I needed a reality check.
I was luckier than some, and damned more fortunate than most, I had two irrigation ponds full of water and I was able to keep my, albeit, scaled down fields watered fairly well. However, I read the graffiti like scrawlings on the wall and most of what I grew last year, ended up in good old American Mason Jars and my basement looks like a subterranean grocery. This year so far is shaping up to be just a little better than last year, but this old boy ain’t holding his breath.
You should have seen me, work the fields all day long, begin picking at around two o’clock, finish each day by six pm, then spend until midnight in the kitchen, chopping, peeling etc. etc. etc. until the finished product was jarred and sealed, then up again the next am at three or four doing it all over again. Oh yes, I would bitch, piss, and moan to the dog or the parrot, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I absolutely refuse to allow my daughter and grandchildren go hungry due to rising food prices.
And now for some finger pointing of my own, NEITHER should you allow any family member go hungry just because you can’t go to the corner store to buy your groceries.
Learn how to grow your own food, learn how to become SELF SUFFICIENT, do you realize that with the technology we have today, and it IS nice to have, but for the most part it has made folks lazy and short sighted and I’m NOT a DOOMSAYER or CONSPIRACY WACKO, but whatever you do, really observe what is going on around you, then come back and tell me that this country is not headed for one helluva big nose dive into the proverbial brick wall at damn near warp six.
But getting back to farming, there is some intangible in putting a seed into the ground, having it sprout, then if taken care of that small seed you began with providing you food. There’s nothing like taking a handful of soil, putting it up to your nose and smelling all of the odors that God alone put there, the clean smell of constant change, decay and life, all rolled into one. Yeah, we have our little old insectile pests to deal with and it’s a pisser, but they live, just like we do, somewhat more basic, they eat, they crap, they procreate and they die and I don’t know of one that listens to the Stones or Willie Nelson, but that does NOT mean you have to poison the soil they reside in, learn how to be an Army of One and whack the little buggers (no pun intended)the RIGHT way. Use horse manure to fertilize with, not chemicals, and learn HOW to preserve what you do grow successfully.
Oh, yeah, by the way, I DO have a redneck, sunburned and tanned like leather from years and years outdoors, in the sun under the canopy of the blue sky, and yeah, I smell like a sweat factory when I get back to the house, and yeah, I’m dirty and yeah I have calluses on my hands, but it’s honest sweat, it’s honest dirt and those calluses have come from honest work.
If my Sarah were still alive, she would be in the fields right there with me, by her own volition, NOT off at the mall or out with the Ladies Social Circle, and she would be bitching, pissing and moaning, just like me, but hey, at the end of the day, we could see what we accomplished and knew that at harvest time our goods would go to market and our basement would be filled. So screw corporate farming and screw needless spending at the grocery store.
Well kiddies, the weather geek was wrong AGAIN! So, I’m off to the irrigation pond, gotta get that noisy sucker cranked up and working. Just as an aside, I promised God that IF and WHEN I ever got out of Viet Nam alive and more or less in one piece, I would do something worthwhile and I would do it peacefully, I hope I’m keeping up my end of the bargain. Hey, anybody out there see where I put my carrot seed?