So…in my last post, I wrote about having a “rainy day perspective.” That perspective still holds true and a long awaited rainy day provides plants with the water needed to grow. But, we have been challenged since then with too much rain! Our crops that aren’t on raised beds or fields with good drainage are suffering from “wet feet.” Their poor roots are so water-logged, they can’t get enough oxygen. Strangely, the plants look as if they don’t have enough water, with wilted yellowing leaves. Too little or too much rain gives the same result and we went from too dry to too wet. When farmers decide to live this lifestyle or when it chooses us, we know we are going to have to take the good with the bad, the bumper crops with the bummer crops. And I am attempting to convey this information in a spirit, not of complaining, but explaining.
Nothing in farming is guaranteed; it can’t be when the weather plays such a large part in determining your livelihood. A late freeze, one hailstorm, wildlife, or a windstorm can sweep away your entire crop in an instant. What is lost is not just the potential income, but the hard work that went into tending the crop. We plant, we nurture, we weed, we water, so that our plants can thrive. When the weather, an insect or some other force destroys our crops, it is personal. This year the late frost, a nasty, difficult to eradicate weed, deer and rain have caused large losses (50% and greater) in our apples, strawberries, and cherries. It is sad and it is frustrating, yet we are still grateful for the fruit we do have. This farm life isn’t for everyone, but for me the rewards outweigh the challenges. When I do have a good year, I can rejoice that much more in the bounty, knowing that losses have gone before and I have kept on and had success at last.
Whether it is a bumper crop year or a bummer crop year, farming gives me life. I am the best version of myself with my hands working, caring for the plants, vines, and trees. With my boys playing and learning alongside me and my husband in a field nearby, my feet might be wet, but my heart is full.