A Time to Weed

This growing season it seems like we are always playing catch up. We hurry to get the field ready, hurry to get the plants in, hurry to get the seeds in, hurry to get the trellises up and now weeding. As we have been focused on getting all our plants and seeds in and set up the weeds have quietly been growing. When we go to the farm frequently you don’t notice them so much. But after our last camping trip we knew that was where our focus would be for the time being. On Monday after our return from the camping trip we intended to focus entirely on weeding. However we were late getting out there and it was already too hot to work–not for Proeun and I but we didn’t want the children out in the hot sun. Our day was cut short.

On Thursday we returned and realized that our focus had to be getting the weeds under control before we moved on to anything else. We would have to come out whatever time we had every day until the weeding was done. We have now completed our 4th day in the row of weeding and the task is accomplished. Well we still have the border areas on the end of our rows that are harboring interlopers and already we are noticing the lucky few we missed and the baby weeds growing up where their parents had been. Next on our agenda, trellising again. Then likely weeding again. It’s hard to believe but pretty soon it will be harvesting. We now realize no matter what don’t let the weeds get like that again. It was a completely exhausting 4 days and we still have chores around the house to do!

Yesterday I was talking to my mom. We came home around 3:00 and were completely beat. The idea of staying up until 8:00 pm seemed like such a long way away. Mom was talking of Father’s Day plans and wanted to know if we would like to come over for dinner. I knew we still had at least one more solid day weeding and would like be exhausted at the end. Then Monday it was back to work for Proeun. I had to decline for the first time a dinner invitation on the basis of exhaustion.

Later I was feeling sorry for myself. Thinking about all the people who get to do what they want on the weekend. They don’t have a farm to go to. They don’t have plants that need care, or animals that need tending. But then I was reading an article in Countryside magazine about self- sufficiency. About knowing how to take care of yourself and meet your basic needs. I thought back to my recent reading of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She said in the book biologically speaking parent’s completely fail if they raise children that can not take care of themselves. I don’t want o be a failure.

On the way home today I was driving by the local playground. I realized it has been forever since my children have been to a playground, or zoo or anything resembling entertainment. But today they hauled weeds with us. They saw tomato plants, bean plants, eggplant and peppers.They may not be able to point them out yet, but at least they know how food grows and the dangers of weeds. They played in the dirt. They saw a mother kildeere pretend to have a broken wing to lead us away from her nest which was in a neighboring field. They felt rain falling on us, cooling us and cleaning us (sort of) as we continued to work. At times it is still hard to make decisions so far from the mainstream. It makes you question choices (especially when you are exhausted). But then what is the ultimate goal we are working for? If we chose ease and pleasure then we are failing. It we chose a life of hard work, self-sufficiency and the health or natural living, maybe we are on our way.

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