Every major project begins and ends the same way it seems. I am finding that the longer I farm the more aware I become of certain patterns. Last week we had a perfect weather window to get the planting fields ready for the season. It had not rained in several days, making the field amenable to the heavy tractor. It is a labor-intensive job, but vital to a successful summer crop. Time is of the essence because once the organic fertilizer goes down on the formed beds the weed barrier plastic must get down before it rains again.
The first step was relatively easy. Steve formed the beds in the morning and then we spent the afternoon and evening hand spreading the fertilizer. We checked the weather forecast and it appeared that we had an iffy two-day window to get the beds covered. Thursday morning was go time. I set the alarm early so we could eat and be out in the field at daybreak. The stress level was palpable as we ate. Here starts the pattern.
We carry an enormous amount of tension as we begin any large project. The tension results in an awkward and acrimonious start……always. Preparing the beds was no different. Steve became frustrated with the tractor and implements almost immediately. He slammed his finger with the wrench as he struggled to get the settings right. He then dropped the 50lbs bed former blade onto his foot. The cussing lasted for nearly twenty minutes as he crawled underneath the tractor to adjust the settings. During these times I have learned to stay quiet unless I think I have something of real value to offer up. Okay, that is a total lie…..this is typically when I say something incredibly provocative like “I hate farming because this totally sucks”. I know, I know, very helpful words to utter at that particular time.
We danced around this way for the first hour. Neither or us seemed to know what we should be doing and we just ended up getting in each other’s way. We snarled and sniped as we worked it out of our system. I looked at the twenty-eight beds that had yet to be covered and felt defeated. I resigned myself to this task being a two-day, backbreaking job.
And then something miraculous happened, just as it always seems to do. Steve and I fell into a harmonious rhythm. I don’t know how it happens, but it does. We became a well-oiled machine. Without any spoken words we became one. The mood shifted into a vibe that is indefinable. The agitation was replaced with an atmosphere filled with positive energy and a sense of purpose. We didn’t talk much during this time, partly because we were in a zone, but mostly because it is difficult work and we were conserving strength. The only cuss words were the occasional “f**k yeah, look how perfectly that row turned out!” and then it was back to a quiet grind.
We remained that way until the sun began to sink low. I smiled broadly as I realized that our two day job just became a one day triumph. “F**k yeah”.