Saturday, June 9, 2012

 I'm absolutely loving this job. I get up at 5am, make coffee, pack my lunch, get dressed; and sit here on the web watching the sun rise through the window. We start work at 7am, normally in the strawberry fields; but this will be the last weekend for people getting them pre-picked. After today, they will be pick-your-own only. The crop was early this year due to the unusually warm and sunny weather in May, so here it is June 9th and they're nearly finished already.

 It's interesting to me to watch the place growing as I start working there. They've operated for years with 2 farms. (one main farm and the other a large plot). Last year, another local grower sold out because his family didn't want to continue the business; and we bought one of their plots. That plot is now where a HUGE portion of the vegetables are being grown. Peppers, cabbage, corn, and tomatoes are all there. We spent the last 2 afternoons (1:00 to 6 or 7:00 planting peppers there; averaging about 100 flats per tractor X 2 crews.

 Also, at Farm 2 where the berry fields are, they built the new market store. Everything will be sold there other than you-pick red and black raspberries, which are at the main farm. (Farm 1) If they get the same business there that they get for strawberries, it will be a crazy place to be! Yesterday alone, we counted 51 cars there picking their own berries, and somewhere close to the same driving in to buy some pre-picked. I NEVER thought they sold that many berries! It's crazy to me to see how busy they get. Every day I'm more amazed. I can't wait to see the new market building finished and this place in full swing.

 I have a partial list of what is grown and sold on the farm. I know there are others, but I can't remember them all:
  Strawberries; red, purple and black raspberries; blueberries, blue lake and half runner beans; bi color sweet corn; canning and Italian paste tomatoes; medium hot, banana hot, yellow sweet, green, Cubenbelle, and jalapeno peppers; canteloupe; watermelon;eggplant;onions;summer and winter squash;okra;collard greens; crowder peas,cabbage, and lima beans.

  I've been working between 8 and 11 hours a day during the week, and 8-10 on Saturdays. He needs the help, and I need the hours right now. I come home filthy and exhausted, but it's a different kind of tired than from 8 hours of wrenching pipe like I have for 16 years. This is a worn out from physical labor tired; where pipe fitting was not just physically tired, but mentally exhausted. Dealing with other trades, job schedules, general contractors, parts warehouses, etc adds a lot of stress....and now that's gone. I go home dragging my ass, but feeling good about it. Like I've accomplished something. Like I've done something important.

 Yesterday at lunch, I was sitting outside in the shade; and a man who was picking berries walked up to me and asked to shake my hand. He said thank you for the hard work and giving him and his family the opportunity to come enjoy the farm. THAT made me feel incredible. THAT is why I love doing this.

 Time to go to work. I'll get those pics up as soon as I have more time.




Anonymous said...

The farms sound extremely productive and i'm glad you are getting so mush work. I'm sure it is very gratifying!! And!! you get to be outside all day, which is right down your alley!! Anxious to see photos of the farm...debbie

small farm girl said...

I'm so happy for you! It was like it was meant to be.

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