The Perks of Being a Farmer
I’ve talked to many individuals over the years about the monotony of their professions. The long hours they spend slaving over their work. The repetition of trivial arguments between coworkers. The lack of stimulation, excitement, or appreciation one receives in their daily dealings. I suppose that these little things have steered me along my professional path through the years and brought me here to Bertrand Farm.
I wanted to become a chef until I worked 3 to 11 in a restaurant all summer long in high school.
I wanted to be a carpenter until my pleasure for building things slowly slip away at a construction job I worked all through college.
I wanted to teach students until my dissatisfaction for the educational system pushed me to come up with more creative ways for learning.
I wanted to become a farmer because I wanted to simplify my life and kept coming back to the premise that first and foremost I must have food to survive.
PLUS: I love being outside. I love watching plants grow. I love sharing delicious healthy produce with others. I love having animals. I love early sunrises and sunsets. I love learning. I love being challenged. And I love that I can physically exhaust myself daily knowing that what I accomplished was meaningful to me.
We all have such motives for why we do what we do. And there are pros and cons to every career.
I like to talk about this topic because many young adults struggle to find something they truly enjoy doing. When I was a child all I knew was that my dad did this and my mom did that. Not realizing, the journey one embarks upon in adulthood trying to find a career, can be tumultuous and uncertain. My naive little brain thought that acquiring a career was similar to a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, it just happened. Or like when I played cops and robbers with my cousin, you assumed the role, simple as that. Life experience has taught me that I need to have a passion for what I do because there are going to be times that I don’t like it and need to be able to persevere.
My role on the farm has become really enjoyable to me thus far because I get to watch Theri, a seasoned farmer, go about getting things done as she has done for years. Observe the subtleties in her decisions and learn from her. I also get to be around PJ, our HS intern from Clay. He wants to go into sustainable agriculture, but is a freshman farmer in the fields. Watching him learn each day, ask questions, and experience the farm is neat to be apart of. Then I get to spend time with our CSA workers who have committed to growing their food for the season, getting a little dirty, and enjoying the community that being on the farm develops. Life at Bertrand Farm for me is good!
I guess this all came to my mind today while strolling around the farm after working a few hours in the cold nasty weather, feeling a bit more worn down than usual. My last stop before taking off was the pigs. I visit them religiously every day. They were SO EXCITED to see me that my mood lifted and I was reminded why I love this work so much.
They are awesome!