Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

What Does a Farmer's Wife Do?

Pauline HyltonLight filters through a bush that attracts hummingbird-sized bumblebees outside my bedroom window. I ask myself a question, "What does a farmer's wife do today?" My husband asks a similar one--namely, "What does a farmer do today?"

Coffee is a given. Lots of it. Worship and prayer happens after the second cup.

Then what?

I'll tell you about today, even though it's not quite 11AM.

Tom and I discussed our schedules. The conversation went something like this:

"What are you going to do today?"

"I don't know, what are you going to do today?"

"Not sure." Tom paused. "I could plow all the fields, build a storage shed, plant vegetables, install an irrigation system for four acres, order more seeds, join the Chamber of Commerce, or attend the tractor event. Heck, I could even try to grow something!"

These statements increased my anxiety. "I should can vegetables, mow the lawn, machete a path through the woods, order chickens, build a coop, hire another caregiver for Mom, check Sam for tics, pay the bills, cancel our Florida bank accounts, and set up an accurate accounting system." My voice volume increased as I recited my list.

Instead, we began with prayer.

Then we ate warmed-up oatmeal at the white farm table. We figured out how much seed we'd need for cover crops. Tom exited with Sam to plow the field in front of the farmhouse. I called the local seed company and chatted with an expert.

"You can try to go organic, but it's pretty much impossible," he offered. 

I pushed on.

"Do you carry hairy vetch--it's not pornographic, it's a seed."

"Sure, I can get you that."

I gave him the list for cover crops. He mentioned that oats would be a problem. 

Who knew? They were plentiful in the cereal aisle of the local grocery store.

He went on, "How much lime do you want on your field? One or two tons." 

"One ton of lime should do it." (Words I never dreamt  I'd say.) "Oh yeah, I need soil for blocks. We're going to use a mold and put seeds in it to transplant into our field." (I tried to convince him I knew what I was talking about.) "Here's the recipe from the organic seed company."

I gave him the list.

There was a long pause.

"I've never heard of that before."

We came to a compromise. A nine-bag combination: 3 bags potting soil, 3 bags black cow, 3 bags tobacco mix.

Still in my jammies, robe and slippers, I walked out to the field.

"We might have a problem getting oats. I guess it was a bad crop." Pictures of the local cereal aisle danced in my head.

Tom seemed unperturbed. "We can order something else."

I know farmer's wives aren't supposed to be in their jammies at 11 AM, But I'm new to this.

Time for more coffee.

Maybe I'll tackle the chicken coop tomorrow.