Farm Life


I said I would revisit the topic, so here goes: another week has come and gone, and this vegetable farmer’s rapport with his farm equipment remains as fraught as ever. For some farmers, one of the major attractions of farmwork is precisely that: the use of mechanical gizmos and doodads, of tractors of varying horsepower and of specialized implements for virtually every farm task imaginable — i.e., countless hours of pleasure for the wannabe farm mechanic. But for the author of these lines, every mechanical breakdown, every suspicious klunk and every tractor hookup is a source of untold frustration, or worse. Why such a troubled relationship, you may ask? The answer is not an obvious one and stems, I think, from the dichotomy between an idealized and idyllic vision of farmwork, on the one hand, and the sine qua non presence of machinery in many of our daily chores, on the other. To be frank, your farmer sometimes feels like an old soul, a 19th century agrarian condemned to farm in the 21st century. It’s not always easy bridging the ideal and the real, even though it does happen. Like an old, fractious couple, the relationship endures, for agriculture cannot survive without either.

Fleur de topinambour - Jerusalem Artichoke Flower