it was a strange juxtaposition of meteorological events for me. after a long, dry spell in drought afflicted califonia i returned home to an unusually wet kentucky. many inches had fallen in my absence and it has not stopped. personally, i stopped keeping track after the week when one full foot had fallen. gosh.
as farmers, we are entirely reliant on the weather for our livelihood. it is often a precarious place to be and one of my personal favorite statements is “our single most important input is entirely out of our control”. alas, we are willful beyond words and optimists through and through, so while we complain about the weather endlessly, we stick with it, don our rain gear or sun hats, and do the best we can. the other thing i must mention is farmers carry a lot of pride around: pride in our work, pride in our crops. we are a devoted group and stewarding the land is not always easy. it was a two cup of coffee, grey, thunderous, sunday morning when my neighbor’s truck pulled into the driveway.
you see, my neighbor is on the verge of losing his tobacco crop. many, many kentucky farmers are teetering on the edge as well. hate to tell you dear california, but excessive moisture has it’s drawbacks! weed pressure increases, saturated soils drown plants, it is not pretty around here right now. today, this very sunday, it seemed that we all collectively had to share the story, the truth of farming this wet, wet season. the reality of fields too soaked to work. as i went online i noticed other kentucky farming friends sharing their insights.
you have to tell your story, whether that be a tale of sorrow or joy, in the process of sharing we clarify our own thoughts, mobilize our support, and feel relieved of the pressure of holding our tales within. my neighbor and my husband together, leaning on the pick up this sunday morning, looking over the land, i know it helped. it didn’t dry things out, talking doesn’t do that, but they each smiled fully as they parted. they were no longer alone.