Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Humility of a Farmer

Last night I finished havesting perhaps the best soybean crop and the worst corn crop, I have ever grown. The interesting thing is that these two crops were grown side by side on the same farm. I have no explaination for this seeming incongruency. To add to the confusion the neighbor across the road grew a beautiful crop of corn with the exact same variety of seed. He was so proud of it he put up a sign. All of this leaves me frustrated as you can probably tell.

But that is the interesting thing about making your living from the land. It is not always about you. It is about factors that only God can tell. In the early verses of the bible we read about the first sins of Adam and Eve and the consequent statement to the effect that "man will have to struggle to grow a crop from the ground as a result" (read the first several chapters of the bible for the full story). This struggle, as illustrated by my experience, keeps me firmly aware of my inability to control the outcome of the simplest thing.

How complicated is it to put a seed in the ground and grow a crop?

And there you have it.

Farmer's are as proud and arrogant a bunch as anyone else. That is why I am sooo concerned about my neighbor's good crop. But the events of nature keep me humble. I will be several years regaining my confidence as a farmer after this embarrassment. Which reminds me of a simple quote I picked up somewhere, refering to my ego, "Don't worry if your ego gets hurt it will always grow back." Isn't that the truth. But as long as you  are attached to the struggle with the soil for your daily bread, humility will lurk around the corner.

I hear echoes of this struggle in my non-farm friends. They love to plant a garden because they have pride in their harvest. That pride will cause their harvest to taste better and be more nutritious than anything bought at the store. Or they will be quite discouraged if their garden produces little or nothing. Their pride will be hurt. It is a very interesting phenomenon is it not.

Thank you for your consideration.

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