Overworked and underpaid. Does that sound familiar to you? Kind of describes your current job doesn’t it? What would you say if you could be overworked and underpaid while still loving the work that you do? I have just the job for you: Farming.
I devoted the last several months as a peasant to the dirt, or humus (not hummus) for those not in the know. Six days a week, I awoke at 5:30 am, grabbing aimlessly in the darkness for a cup of black gold, driving hazily to the farm, only to be stunned awake by a chilling sunrise. For 60 hours every week, greenhouses, tractors, trucks, and farmers markets were my mobile office.
Every day, I communed with nature at its finest hour. You are so intimately connected with the earth at its essence–creating life but acting only as a shepherd to sustain Nature’s symbiosis. It’s awe-inspiring yet humbling.
Ok, back from hippy land, farming rocks.
Every night, I came home a mysophobe, bacteriophobe, and/or germaphobe’s worst nightmare: sun-soaked, sweat stained, motor oiled, dusty Carhartts/socks/shoes/boxers/hat strewn about the newly washed floors and clean room (that one’s for you baby)! My legs ached even more than after a hilly bike race and I could barely stand to make dinner with the daily harvest. My fingernails could barely contain the dirt caked underneath, which is surprisingly not an aphrodisiac to the opposite sex (again for you). I went to be at 10:00 after raucous nights of a two beers and episodes of Mad Men and woke up and did it again. I have to say though, there is something about the “early to bed, early to rise” that just makes sense.
Here is a collection of photos from my summer working on the East End of Long Island to give you some local flavor. This is just the tip of the farming conversation I want to have. More about the day to day in the near future and we can talk politics of farming when I’m up for re-election in 6 months.