SEEDS, from the Volunteer Voice
I think if I could have another choice of a profession, it would have been a farmer. I know that sounds silly, because really I don’t know a lot about this very hard work and at times frustrating profession. I do, however find farm life fascinating and I truly respect the dedication of the farmer and his/her family.
What little exposure I have had to this field (sorry, no pun intended) was through my grandfather and my father. My grandfather owned a farm in the southern part of Indiana in a little town outside of Madison, called Hanover. It really upsets me when I hear the statements being made about farmers being dumb.
My grandfather worked hard in the great state of Kentucky and saved enough money to buy his farm in Indiana and was a very smart businessman.
He raised milk cows. Now there’s a real trick to milking a cow. I always wanted to squeeze up instead of down. He also grew hay, boy is that fun work to do when it’s about 90 degrees outside and you have to cut, bale, throw it on the wagon, and then unload it in the barn. By the way, you have to do all of this in long sleeve shirts to keep the hay from scratching your arms into little red lines that resemble a road map.
Grandfather’s main source of income on his farm was tobacco. I’m here to tell you, that stuff is nasty to work with. Back in the old days, we had to sucker the tobacco by hand, which meant we had to walk up and down the rows and pick off the smaller leafs from the stalk, and then came the fun part. We also had to pick off all of the tobacco worms and kill them by throwing them on the ground and stepping on ’em. By the time we were finished with this job our fingers were sticky and dirt-black with tobacco juice.
I don’t know if you know much about raising tobacco here in the Fort Wayne area but we always started off by planting the tobacco seeds in a tobacco bed and then we had to transplant them later in the field. My grandfather had an old work horse by the name of Old Rex. I can remember very well the time my uncle and I transplanted the tobacco on a tobacco planter that was drawn by Old Rex. That’s the first time I learned what “GEE” and “Haw” meant.
Although Dad did not have a farm he was raised on a farm. You know the saying. “You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.” This was truly the case with my father. Wherever Dad lived, he always had a garden. He grew things like “Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans” and “Big Boy Tomatoes.”
When Barb and I first got married, we lived in a few places that we could grow a garden. I really loved all that was involved in raising our own vegetables. I guess that is where I first fell in love with what a farmer does. Please don’t get me wrong, I know there is a lot more to farming than just raising a garden. But what fascinated me about working with the ground were the miracles that took place during the growth from seeds to the finished product. To watch green beans growing from seed to a bush and then to see the sprouting of the bean was a miracle. I also would love to see tomatoes grow from a very small, little green tomato to a very large, red ripe tomato that would send your taste buds out of this world. It was beyond belief.
The most captivating part of a garden was the process of growing potatoes. I think it’s a real hoot to make a hill of dirt, stomp the potato in the ground, cover it up with dirt, watch some very funny things grow out of the ground, and then dig up full grown potatoes. It was like Christmas, because you never knew what size of potato was going to come out of the ground. Many of you know the Bible passage that states you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). If you plant green beans, you are going to get green beans. If you plant tomatoes, you get tomatoes. If you plant potatoes, you get potatoes. If you plant love, you get love. If you plant kindness, you get kindness. If you give, you will receive.
I’m a firm believer that you are planting seeds of love and kindness, and through your giving, are working on your heavenly garden.
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