Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Season for Farmer Delusional Syndrome

It starts every year when the seed catalogs appear in the PO Box.  It ends sometime in late April when we realize how many tasks are behind schedule and after there has already been a mini-disaster or two on the farm.

'Tis the season.

The season for Farmer Delusional Syndrome!

Symptoms are as follows:

1. The farmer circles forty new varieties and three to five completely new vegetable types to 'trial' for the coming season in the first catalog he sees.  He genuinely thinks he could squeeze all of these in somehow.  Or, even if he doesn't believe that, he thinks he'll be able to set aside more time to investigate these options in order to make the "best" choice.

2. The farmer forgets that pictures like this one don't show the ENTIRE field.
And he forgets the field doesn't STAY this way.
3. It's cold outside right now.  Like most people in Iowa, he idealizes hot June, July and/or August days.  Yes, those days.  The ones where he often goes through three, four, five and even SIX t-shirts.

4. The farmer sees nothing wrong with a calendar that includes five or more good sized projects in April and May.  After all, getting plants started, handling plant sales, Spring CSA distributions, planting a majority of the crops and dealing with poultry chicks only take "a couple of hours a day."

5. Every row is straight.
Straight as an arr....oh.

6. Fields are dry when you want to work in them and rain only falls right where you want it to.
Ok, maybe we don't believe that one.
7. Taking a weekend or two off in the middle of the growing seems like it shouldn't be all that hard to do.

8. This will be the year that a major, unplanned for project does NOT cause us to re-prioritize.
No Snorts Allowed!

9. Deer don't eat beets, rabbits don't cut down young pepper plants, cucumber beetles don't girdle young vine crops, raccoons don't eat chickens, woodchucks don't eat pea seedlings, gnats don't infest ducks with parasites, horn worms don't eat every leaf on a tomato plant, dandelion seeds don't clog up air intakes on the tractors, tools don't break, seedlings won't dry out, the wind isn't THAT strong, thistles don't hurt that much, my back won't get that sore in May, cleaning carrots doesn't take very long and I won't let the pile of receipts get so big before they are recorded this time.

Those wheels didn't break, they just couldn't have.
10. A place for everything.  And everything in its place.

We like the sentiment and the intent - at the least.
And the final symptom?

11.  The farmer spends time making creative blog posts about fictional syndromes.

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