After doing this for a number of years now, I’m finally beginning to come to the conclusion that most of farming is not digging in the dirt or weeding but actually busy work that has nothing to do with farming at all.
Take, for instance, the fact that we have too many carrots.
I’ll have to qualify that. We don’t have too many carrots. We have just the right amount of carrots to feed our hungry and growing family of four. Fresh carrots, properly handled, will last until at least mid-January, assuming we don’t eat them first. Then there will be the frozen variety to last us until June. Also the pickled variety for added diversity. We’ll sell the rest. So it’s not as though we have more carrots than we know what to do with. It’s that we have more carrots than we have room to store. And its not just carrots. Its beets, broccoli, rutabaga, swiss chard, apples. What we really need is a root cellar.
Failing that, as an interim, what we really needed was another refrigerator. A cheap or free one, preferrably. And oh by the way, we needed it yesterday.
So we did what any crazy busy farmer in the midst of harvest season would do. We dropped everything and went online to Craiglist in search of free-or-cheap refrigerators in the area. After a few hours of that, we found one, not free but cheap, within 20 miles of us. We bounced emails back and forth for awhile, trying to get the price down, then unloaded the wagon (full of wood) and hitched it onto our car, drove the twenty miles, helped the sellers remove the door of the house so that we could take their fridge, loaded the fridge, put the door back on, paid the people, and drove back to our house, whereupon we unloaded the fridge onto the porch and not down into the basement where it needs to be because the bulkhead was full of the aforementioned wood.
Naturally the refrigerator that we needed yesterday stood on the porch for an additional week until we found the time to clear out the bulkhead of wood and the basement of detritus so that we could move the fridge back onto the wagon and around the back of the house and into the basement…. after removing a shelving unit, which theoretically should have taken all of five minutes but ended up taking an hour due to our inability to find our hammer, our screwdrivers, or a saw.
Two weeks and two full days of actual labor later we now have a fully functional refrigerator down in our basement. It is empty. Who has time to pull carrots? We’re too busy running a farm, here.