Thursday, June 19, 2008

"We be farmin'!"

Just got to my desk with my second mug of coffee that is still too hot to drink. They’re farming outside my house this morning, finishing up gassing the corn with anhydrous, a super-strong form of nitrogen. Can’t imagine what one of those tubes costs with the increase in the cost of fertilizers. I’m still wreaked from yesterday. First off, I didn’t get home until 5:30 a.m. (I’m a twenty-something. I do that.) I caught an hour or so of sleep and farmed all day. We got our back field all raked and Dad got forty bales so far. Since it’s a small field, that’s really good, for those of you who don’t know. At one point we had two rigs runnin’ smoothly and one dog in the field. “We be farmin’ now!” Dad said. We got finished up and had supper nearly on the table by 8:30 last night when some friends stopped over and the new goal became empting our refrigerator of beer. Needless to say, I didn’t get my weight training in yesterday. It was 10 before we got supper and eleven before I got everything cleaned up and came upstairs. But the B I run doesn’t have power steering so I think that ought to count for resistance training, I don’t know about you. Dad and I got laughing over my grandpa, who cut his teeth on the steel-wheeled and steel-seated tractors. He thought rubber wheels were pretty cool, even with straight-line axels. I’ve never run steel-wheels, but judging by how sore my lower back is today, I’m not sure I want to know.

A friend of mine and I were talking this past weekend about how hard it is to find a partner that wants to farm with ya these days. I thought about that yesterday on the tractor, the qualities I would look for in a freelance farmer. It’s rough, but I wrote it last night late and thought I’d post the rough version just for comedy.

Wanted: Freelance farmer looking to join a cooperative team. The following qualities a must.

Must love long hours on little pay and few benefits, even when the gentlewoman farmer isn’t too tired to bestow those benefits after a long day.

Must love pain in lower back, all joints, and a variety of broken bones, smashed fingers, and the occasional tearing out of that oh so fashionable nose ring by wayward snippets of wire.

Preferably former bull fighter, bronc rider, and/or team roper (just in case).

Must be able to calve cows, break horses, treat foot rot in sheep, stop profuse bleeding, dehorn, castrate, clip rabbit teeth, remove porcupine quills from the farm dog, mow lawn, fix broken equipment in all manner of inclement weather that might have never worked in the first place, drink like a fish, cook over an open fire. Must enjoy long walks along fencelines, late nights in the calving barn, pulling ancient woven wire fence, splitting fire wood, housework, laundry, cleaning toilets, screaming children, and crying dogs.

No dental or 401K.

No insurance or health care.

All the while being willing to bring his exhausted woman a beer while she watches the Red Wings and PBR.