It was a midday in July as I was harvesting zucchini in the sprawling fields of Taft Farms, under the blazing sun. I stood up briefly, wiped my brow and stretched by back. In that moment of clarity, I was able to really see what was right in front of me: rows of beautiful flowers and tall shoots of what would soon be some of the most stunning varieties of Indian Corn.
This past summer I had decided that I wanted to shadow a local farm and work a full growing season so that I could really understand how food was grown and face the challenges that came with it. I had always had a great working relationship with Taft Farms, so I figured I would start there.
Farming is extremely hard work. 10-12 hour days of repetitive, grueling labor regardless of the weather conditions. Many times it felt like someone said to me “Oh, you cooked for someone’s wedding yesterday? Nice, what was that, 16 hours of hot fire, heavy steel and tight timelines? Grreeeaaattt, you must be dehydrated and sore. How about you pick asparagus for 4 hours tomorrow in the pouring rain, mmmk thanks” - In the style of Bill Lumbergh of Office Space.
I have always respected farmers and the idea of farming, but really, it was just exactly that; the idea. I sincerely think that everyone should have a garden for growing food for at least one year. In a current word of disposability, I whole heartedly believe that we would cut down on so much waste if people got back in touch with the way things used to be, however that is a blog topic for another time.
Being a part of the whole farming process this past year, in the trenches with the fellow field crew and seeing how well the 200 acres of farm land is managed has really opened my eyes.