“Been farmin’ long?” When we were in Nebraska we would occasionally see a poster with two little boys standing on a patch of dirt with a caption like that.
Well I’ve been farmin’ almost a week now. OK. Don’t laugh too hard. My daughter is taking care of dogs and mail and watering plants for some friends in our church and I’m taking care of half a dozen chickens. My daughter won’t have anything to do with birds or feathers and her brother is out of commission with a sprained ankle. I wear my five-buckle chore boots, but I haven’t taken to wearing bib overalls. I put out some feed, fill the water dispenser, and collect any eggs that I can find. That’s about half an hour’s work including drive time. We’ve had good weather all week so I haven’t had to “do chores” in the pouring rain. It’s June/July, so we haven’t had any snow—even here in Pennsylvania.
This morning, the 1st day of July, was absolutely glorious. It was 50 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The farm sits up on a hill, so you can see literally for miles. Crows and cardinals and other songbirds were singing their good-morning songs. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, so everything is still lush and green. This kind of morning is a gift. For farmers, I’m sure a day like this is a reward for all the mornings that they feed the chickens or milk the cows in a cold, driving rain or watch their crops wither under a blistering August drought.
Tomorrow is my last day of farming for a while. I haven’t minded it, but I can’t say that I have any desire to build a chicken coop and start my own farm. Yet, I’m convinced more than ever that farmers are the heart and soul of our land, our original unsung heroes. To all our friends in Nebraska and Ohio and Pennsylvania who farm and to all farmers everywhere, I wish you a restful and blessed Fourth of July weekend.