A day in the life…
The most common question I’m getting from Mom and Toby these days is: “What’d you do today?” This question has been coming up more and more because recently my farming “jurisdiction” was greatly increased. For those of you that don’t already know, one of my good friends, who has mentored and advised me for several years, has offered his land for us to lease while he works on building his house and infrastructure for future farm use.
Honestly, the timing could not have been better. So far 2013, has proved to be a pretty tumultuous year for us both personally and professionally. We’ve been looking for a larger place to farm but with little success. We had no idea how difficult it would be to find a place. We have three requirements: sandy soil, flat topography, and lots of water. We didn’t realize how uncommon this kind of land really is.
Fortunately, the land we are now leasing in Caldwell already meets these requirements. We couldn’t be happier about our ability to greatly increase production and have another type of soil to grow in.
The down side? It’s about an hour and half drive to our new land in Caldwell. That’s one way and that’s six days a week. That being said, Mom and Toby don’t get to see the progress made every day, which requires me to send more pictures and talk more about what I’m doing.
Since I can’t take each of you to Caldwell, I thought I would give you a rundown on what my day looks like trying to manage two properties.
4:00 am – Slap the alarm with such force, I’m surprised it’s survived this long.
4:10 am – Turn off the snooze and decide I’ll regret it if I don’t get up.
5:00 am – It’s ready and off to Caldwell after consuming as much coffee as possible. (With NPR playing the whole way down.)
7:00 am – Arrive in Caldwell and start walking the fields checking irrigation and spot-checking the plants for bugs, discoloration, leaf roll, mildew, and other items.
“There’s no better fertilizer than the farmer’s foot prints.”
You’ve got to be out there every day. Things can do downhill fast and before you know it you’ve lost a crop – and that’s heartbreaking.
From there the day can go anywhere and usually does. The days consist of more planting, harvesting, plowing, cultivating, working on irrigation pumps or lines, it all depends on the circumstances of the day. When I finish up, it’s back to the Home Grown Farm in Waco to repeat the process. However, sometimes I don’t leave Caldwell until six or eight o’clock each day which puts me back in Waco around ten p.m.
Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to babysit two four-year-olds. If you give one more attention than the other, a temper tantrum is thrown. Now I’ve never had kids but when you don’t pay attention to something on the farm for too long, you’ll sure wish you had. It can double or triple the work you end up doing.
Managing two properties makes for some long days but I know how lucky I am to have a chance to do this. There are always going to be beige walls, cubicles and computer screens to man, so I’m thankful my office is out here. And my hope is that it will stay that way.