RAISE YOUR HANDS UP FOR THE FARMERS!
I was working in my garden yesterday on a softer side of a hot day. I say softer side because it was 80 degrees with a nice breeze. This is a hot day for our area and for me but I know many others live in areas where this is not considered hot and there are many really suffering heat waves right now. I was thinking about how much work the yard was and frustrated because I had cleared one area of weeds last week and was starting another area and noticed new weeds in my “clean” patch. Then I realized it is not like doing a job where you do one part and it is done. You have to keep at the clean patch to keep it up so in reality you are adding to the job with each area you work on. It is never finished. I don’t have any machines or fancy equipment to dig up the dirt. I use the hoe and my hands. And I love it but it is a lot of hard work and sometimes I get frustrated.
As the sweat poured down into my eyes and down my neck and back I stopped for a moment and looked around and for some reason I started laughing at myself. I remembered the news and all the trouble the farmers are having with the heat and lack of rain and thought now there is a group of people who know the meaning of hard hard work. What is worse is no matter how hard they work Mother Nature may decide she doesn’t want to co-operate with them. They have no control on many things on a farm. And yet the ones who are still doing it keep on working from dawn to dusk to grow our fruits and vegetables. Farming is a really hard job. It is a job that is constant.
To grow things is not as easy as it looks. I am what you call a lazy gardener. But if you are a farmer you cannot be lazy. You have to be up and at it early and you work till dark sometimes past. There is so much involved from clearing the land, preparing the land, planting the crops, keeping them weeded, controlled and healthy. To top that off there is irrigating the crops and that doesn’t even finish till it is picked, and the ground turned over to prepare for the next crop. And so much is out of their control. Mother Nature has her own ideas at any time she chooses. Plants get diseases and have to be sprayed and cleaned out and there is much more I am sure that I don’t even know about. Now this year Mother Nature is going through hot flashes and can’t even shed a tear to help water. Crops are dying, farmers may lose everything and many farmers have long since quit in previous years. So the few farmers there are left are facing devastation. We are all worried about not having enough or the cost to us at the supermarket!!! I do understand and do worry myself about the rising cost of everything but how about those farmers. Think about all that hard work. We are talking hard manual labor most of the time. Yes I know there are all kinds of fancy equipment out now but not all farms can afford them. I am talking about the smaller farms. We are talking more than a 40 hour work week and seven days a week. We are talking no pay for these people who have done all this work for us to have fresh food if they lose their crops. We are talking losing everything they own possibly.
I am saying raise up your hands and hearts to these people who have worked so hard and will have very little if anything to show for it.
They don’t work for someone who offers them retirement plans or 401k’s or health benefits. They don’t have a guaranteed salary or vacations and this year most won’t have crops to sell to help sustain their own families. Yes there are a lot of people unemployed right now; my own family was hit by it. But I am not sure farmers get unemployment, I think not but I could be wrong. Some have crop insurance and some might qualify for federal help and but we all know the shape of our federal economy right now. What can we do? I am not sure we can do much but I know for sure we can appreciate what they do and support them as much as we can. Personally I thank them because I sure as heck wouldn’t want to depend on my fruits and vegetables on my growing them. As much fun as it to “Dabble” in it, heaven help me if I had to depend on it.
So for all the farmers out there, I send my sincerest appreciation for all you do, and for all you go through. And I hope that the conditions you are enduring now clear up and you don’t lose your farms or the desire to farm. We need you and I think most of us appreciate and thank you for all your hard work. I have a lot of appreciation and gratitude for all they do.