Sunday, September 6, 2009

Time Zones

We've been thinking again...

It seems as if our life on the farm forces us into a different time zone than most of the rest of the world. In some ways, it is pleasant, in other ways, it is annoying. In all ways, it adds a layer of complexity to our dealings with anyone who is not working on the farm!

An example:

Our world *It is sunny and there is a light breeze. Temperatures are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Just plain nice. There is no traffic on the gravel road. Nary a mechanical sound to be heard. Some birds, some leaves rustling. And, we're out picking cherry tomatoes. Work is being done. It is being done quickly and efficiently with little wasted effort. But it is done with contentedness and a sense of calm. Time is not passing.

The rest of the world * It is a CSA distribution day. We need to leave by 3pm. Other things need picking and packing as well. The clock runs the same as it always has. Soon we will have to leave the feeling of timelessness and enter the world of time. In real world time, cherry tomato picking can really take time!

In other words, it is possible to become engrossed in the work on the farm and lose track of time. If there are to be dealings with anyone outside of the farm we have to take steps to insure that we do not completely enter the alternate universe that is farm time!

Example the second:

Our world *We just got that request for information from so and so recently. Better get to it soon. Do not have time right at this moment, but we'll get to it ASAP. In fact, it stays near the front of our mind and we get things figured out. Should be no problem getting the response back in a timely manner.

The rest of the world *We just got that request three weeks ago - but, honest, it seems recent to us. We didn't forget. It's been on our minds constantly and we really did think we were being quick about it....

Well, now you know "ASAP" doesn't mean the same thing to us when we are in "farm time." It has nothing to do with a desire to ignore. In fact, we very much want to respond quickly an effectively. But, when the lists of things to do are long, it isn't always easy to get things done in a 'real world' time frame. The farm can be so immediate! The tomatoes are right there and need to be picked/weeded/staked/etc.

Oh well, I'd better get some of those real world time things done now!

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