Many people seem to have a romanticized view of farms and farming. They believe it to be a quick, simple thing. Simply run the tractor, put a seed in the ground, water it some, go watch the cows in the field and a month later you have beautiful crops. Parts of that may be true in certain aspects but for the most part the vast majority of people don’t seem to realize just how much time and effort maintaining a farm truly does take. The hours, days, weeks spent toiling on hands and knees in the garden fertilizing, watering and doing whatever else needs to be done, looking for lost animals, helping the ones you find, spending an hour alone getting one unstuck only to do it all over again the next week or even next day. All the general public has to do is show up to the farmer’s market on the weekend for a half an hour or so and buy the tomatoes, cucumbers, or even just a few eggs. All they have to do is show up to the restaurant and order their burger or chicken wrap. Rarely do they take the time to genuinely think about the amount of effort and labor and, especially, time that went into that one singular tomato, beef patty, or shredded chicken.
And, as strange as it seems, I think most farmers almost prefer it that way. Just to know that, hopefully, you enjoy it, is enough. However, I can’t speak for them. Which is why, when you go to the farmers market on a weekend maybe take a moment to stop and ask them about it. Ask them what the growing process was like, tell them you appreciate the time they put into whatever it is you buy, take a moment to simply talk to them. But when you see that one singular thing you end up buying, most importantly just stop and think about and appreciate, even if it’s only for a second or two, the sheer amount of work and time that went into it.
Deklan Thomas, 2019 FARM Intern
Brown’s Farm, Mountain City, TN