All the delightful responses to my column the week before last about favorite farm and garden chores reflected a fact about farming that needs to be repeated over and over again. Producing food is not a job or a business but a calling. Only some of us are attracted to it. Only some of us can really enjoy the physical work involved. From now on when I hear how I romanticize farming too much and don’t tell readers how difficult farm work can be, I will just show them your responses. For us, repulsive is commuting through traffic jams and sitting in offices all day. Even hauling manure is better than that.
Several of you, particularly Jim Henslee said every farm activity, as it comes along through the year, is your favorite. Rick Presley likes to prune orchards. Raking hay is Gary Burnett’s favorite. One of mine too. Dancinghairwoman likes to burn brush in the spring. Me too again. Brian L likes to harrow a freshly disked field, another of my favorites. Amos Turtle likes watching the yellow ears of corn being carried by the elevator chain on the picker up into the gravity box. Reminds me of a story. A neighbor once confessed to me that the first time he harvested corn with a picker-sheller and watched the golden grain funnel effortlessly into the combine bin, he broke out crying, remembering the grueling work of harvesting corn by hand.