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The Farmer, a Rain Dance and the Farm Tour

It’s farm tour week, for the last 6 years I’ve participated in the Kaw Valley Farm Tour and here we are, it’s this weekend. The farm is all tidy; we have big plans for lots of outside blue-sky activities and what does the forecast give me? The rain I so desperately needed earlier this summer. I’ll be honest I was devastated when the forecast kept the rain and the temps have dropped, but I slept on it. I woke up yesterday at peace with it, I mean seriously, we are STILL in a drought. I was on the radio yesterday morning and was asked what folks might expect to see at my place, I said, “I hope some mud!”

As I was finishing up things yesterday, soaking up the sun and trying not to get blown away. I was reflecting on the past year, the summer, our place, our life, well you get the picture. I was like the computer with a screen full of open tabs. My mind landed on Paul Harvey, I suppose because I was on a radio talk show. Did you ever listen to him on the radio? I loved when he was on, I loved hearing “the rest of the story” and I loved his voice and eloquence long before the Super Bowl commercial. Of course though it was the speech on the commercial that was running through my head yesterday. This morning I did a little digging about that speech. While I adore his "So God Made a Farmer" speech originally given at the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. I found the original text that inspired Harvey to be just as moving.

Boston B. Blackwood a dirt farmer in the 30’s and 40’s wrote a description of a “dirt farmer” which was published in The Farmer-Stockman magazine in 1940.

"He is the world's greatest optimist. He believes that the fact he has come this far is proof that he can continue to the end. He buries last year's disappointments with the spring breaking and lives for the future. He must have the heart to plant in hope, cultivate in faith, and end in failure, and then start all over with greater hope and strong faith.”
"This is a dirt farmer. Heaven help the family that depends on him for its support. Heaven help the nation that does not have him to depend on for its support."

I’m still harvesting from the garden, plantings that finally did come to an actual crop. Last week though we got cold, cold enough that there are light patches in the garden that got a touch of burn, the first signs of the end of the season. I’ve harvested what little popcorn made it, and I’ve cleaned up the rows that are done for the year. I’ll put some organic amendments on, tucking them in for the winter and wait for spring, the future, because it will be better than this year. The words of both Harvey and Blackwood are so true, they hit home. I’ve already planted wheat and rye to harvest next year to make loaves and loaves of bread for our farm shares, and… it’s coming up. The fields are starting to show little green blades of a bright future and I’ll get my garlic in before Halloween to harvest next June, but all these crops I’ve planted or getting ready to plant, need rain.

So the forecast of rain for the rest of this week giving us a possible 3”-5” (or even just a trace) will be welcomed. I will wear my mud boots, and carry my bright umbrella stomp in the mud puddles with my children and welcome everyone who is willing to come see us this weekend. We will still have pizza, even though it may be to wet to picnic on the lawn and we have to settle for tables and chairs in the lean to of the barn. I look forward to many conversations with folks this weekend, sharing my farm and my family with our community. If it’s to cold out, we will start a fire in the market and warm everyone up!

I hope you will come see us this weekend $10 per carload, gets you into 32 farms in 2 days. You could even sign up for our farm share that starts in a few weeks.


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