Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Here's To Endurance

A few people noticed that we were not posting regularly the first few months of this year and, of course, they were correct.  The creative and farm parts of me were either tired or engaged elsewhere for a time.  Now, as the weather changes and the farm beckons, I find myself wanting or needing to return to posting here.  As part of the process, I took a moment to try and look at the blogs other, similar farms have maintained that I occasionally read.  And, I found a sad trend.  Of the fifteen that I have followed on and off for the past six or so years, only two on this list had any postings for this year.  Most of the fifteen have been inactive for over a year.  Some of these farmers have moved on to other things in their life.  Others, have moved away from blogging, while they continue to farm.

This got me to thinking.
If you've read our blog before you should know the response.
A dangerous pastime!  (I know!)

Committed (Should I be?)
An actual picture of the farmer in 2005! Archives can be surprising.
Our very first blog posts made their appearance on December 16, 2008.  In fact, we posted a few times on that first day just to get a feel for it.  The first post and this second one can give you an idea that deciding to blog for the farm was not a 'spur of the moment decision.'  In fact, despite some chiding from Tammy, I actually agonized a bit over this (believe it or not).  What some people might have seen as just 'something you do because it's the thing to do,' I saw it as a commitment.  If it was going to be worth doing, I had to make it worth doing.  I don't like starting things of this nature just because...

Happily, we landed on our feet fairly quickly and put out a post that has some of the hallmarks of many of our posts since that time.  Yogi, the duck, had to spend some time in our kitchen - and it made the blog just two days after it was started.  And, initially, Tammy and I were both going to put things out there for people to read.  You can see one of Tammy's early entries here.  But, once school started again for Tammy, her desire to do EXTRA typing waned very quickly.  And, I can't say that I blamed her.

Even the Count is on our blog!
We even jumped into the thing that was all the rage at the time - TOP TEN LISTS by doing a 2008 year in review.  It wasn't very long after we started posting regularly that many people who had started blogs began to stop... so to speak.  Many of them started moving to 'social media' and the shorter, even less permanent presence it provides. 

While we have also given in and tried to maintain some social media presence on Facebook, we still believe this is the place for us to be.  And, we have shown that by providing you with over one hundred posts each year since 2009. 

Where Have We Been?
The blog has been a good place to try to organize our thoughts and even put in writing things that we were actually trying to figure out.  In 2009, we were trying to get a handle on the plant sales angle of our farm.  The strange thing about that post is that we are revisiting some of those same issues this year.  Go figure.

And, of course, weather has been a recurring theme.  This only makes sense since we do work outside and what we are thinking about is very much influenced by the weather and how it is impacting our farm.  This post from 2009 just reminds us of the old maxim that if you don't like the weather in Iowa right now, just wait five minutes.  It'll change.

Anyone remember Mo Farah and this set of memes?
And, I also noted that our worry about chemical spray is not a new thing.  In fact, aerial spraying in Iowa was really just starting to get traction in 2008 and 2009.  We took note of it in this post and told everyone it felt a bit like we were in an old WW II movie.

But, the post that I think really gave me a feel for what we could do was this one.  Road Map to Zucchini was one of those moments where I took some of the silly things that come into my head while I'm working outside and made it into a post.  This post has some humor in it, but it still maintains a strong element of truth/sharing to it despite the embellishments.  It's a look into realities of the farm without force feeding it.  It gave me (and you) a chance to laugh together about things that have something to do with the farm.

Since that time, we've worked to mix up informative posts, promotional posts, event posts, humorous posts and even barn posts into the blog.  The addition of a digital camera and some motivation to use it have also given us the opportunity to help you see what we are doing and understand a little better what is happening.  We even tried a little participation and had voting for best posts during our first year.

Community works.
Does It Make a Difference?
Maintaining a blog, keeping it fresh and useful and doing so on a regular basis is not always all that easy.  There is a reason so many blogs have disappeared.  Some falling by the wayside in the first months after inception.  Others going strong for a year, disappearing for awhile, then coming back briefly before going away for good.  It is difficult to keep putting something out there when you aren't sure anyone is really looking.  It's either that or, it's like any number of things.  The novelty wears off and now it becomes a task.  Tasks aren't worth it, are they?

But, this IS worth it.
We've been told that some of our posts made at least one of you laugh.
And we were told that someone's kids liked a story we told.
Another person said that this made them think a little harder about some important things.
People we know were appreciative that we would take the time to be grateful for them.
And, still others like to learn how to deal with the veggies they get from us.
Our assessment of veggie varieties and our farm reports are enjoyed by a completely different group of people.

Not the post for you?  Well, you could take a nap instead!
Certainly, there is more to our blog than that.  But, the point is this - some people have read it and have been kind enough to tell us that they've gotten something from it.  Therefore, this blog has been worth doing and will continue to be worth doing.

Hopefully, some of you enjoyed this post.  Maybe a few of you were curious about a link or two and read those posts as well.  But, if you didn't find this post interesting and you aren't in the mood for checking out any of the post links we have here you are STILL a winner.

Because the next post will be different.  And, maybe that one will be the one you were wanting to see.  We can certainly hope.

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