This was written as a follow up to a survey I participated in. As part of that survey, I was asked a question “just what does it take to get food to your table?”
That question really made me think, and this is my response. It’s perhaps a metaphor for life in general, but this is written from the perspective of a farmer.
So, what does it take to get food to your table?
It takes patience. Patience to wait for winter to end; that “almost spring” time seems to take forever. You’re so looking forward to seeing the first signs of things coming back to life: the first hint of green, that first perennial poking up through the ground, the fresh spring smell in the air, the spring birds returning.
It takes patience. Patience to wait for the right time to plant; waiting for the sometimes heavy spring rains to end so you can get into the field, but being glad that you’re getting rain.
It takes patience. You watch things grow. You anticipate the first blossoms, the first fruit, and then the first ripe fruit; and you hope you get the rain when you need it!
It takes patience. You get your first orders, and you hope you have enough supply to fill them. Or…you get the first orders and you’ve got too much crop and you need to breathe and figure out where to sell it.
It takes patience as you go through the harvest season with your crew of loyal, dedicated employees that you’ve worked with for years. You go through the long days and sometimes nights; you’re all tired and at times feel like robots on autopilot. But… a strong team gets you through it. Ours is a family business, yet the entire crew feels like family. As family working together, you need the patience to get through the days when things get a little tiring and stressful, and perhaps your temper is a little shorter with family than it would be otherwise.
It takes patience to keep working through the holiday weekends when everyone else is heading to the cottage and you get to make sure the grocery stores are full!
It takes patience to handle feedback from customers who think you can do better, and they point this out to you in a way that can be a little unkind. You try to remember that everyone has different ways of dealing with things, and you’re very grateful to the people who take the time to tell you how much they enjoyed your fruits and vegetables.
It takes patience to realize that you can’t know it all or do it all. Remember how many hats you must wear in a day! It takes patience to be kind to yourself.
Remember, above all, that you’re blessed to work in a job that you love, to work with your family and your employees who become like family.
Remember to stop (or at least slow down) and look at the beauty in the fields, the sky, and the people that surround you.
by Miriam Chary Worley June 2023