I'm frustrated because my strawberry patch isn't ready to be open yet. We were forced to plant late because of weather conditions and time constraints beyond our control and then it rained ALL WINTER LONG. And during deer season we couldn't find one for love or money but as soon as the season was out they were on our strawberries like white on rice. It's so frustrating to see everyone open but you. It's frustrating when others bring strawberries in from other areas a month before our typical season and call them local, and people don't understand, so they call you constantly wanting to come pick strawberries and you have to tell them you're not open. It's frustrating.
I'm frustrated about the constant attacks on farmers I keep seeing. Just yesterday a friend posted an article on Facebook about how horrible conventional strawberries are for you because of the pesticides sprayed on them, and how organic was the way to go. The article didn't mention how there was no scientific proof that organic produce was nutritionally better for you than conventional. The article didn't mention that organic producers can and do spray their produce (because what are they supposed to do? Let pests ruin it in the field? Let it be taken by disease? Do you people even realize how expensive raising strawberries are?), and some of it is just as bad for you as the chemicals conventional growers spray. I'm frustrated when I read that a documentary about water quality that aired on WRAL portrayed farmers in the worst possible light, was completely biased (or at least appeared that way because they didn't air all sides of the story), and the people who watched it will only remember one thing: hog farmers are why our rivers are polluted. Which is not true even a little bit. Did it talk about all the sewage spills from wastewater plants? What about coal ash? What about regular people who use chemicals (including fertilizers) on their yard with no training or care for runoff? And what really frustrates me is that all farmers are trying to do is raise a crop. They don't want to spray their crop, it's expensive. They don't want to have sick animals they have to medicate, but it happens. They want to pay their bills. They want to hold on to their family business. They want to make a living. They want to raise a quality product. And they get constant flack for it and people think they are out to purposely harm them, like they're a villain in a melodrama wringing their hands and laughing hysterically, what can I shoot my animals up with today? What horrible chemical can I find to spray on my watermelons today? What variety of corn can I plant this year that will do the most harm to people? It's ridiculous, completely illogical, and so frustrating when people bite the hand that feeds them.
I'm frustrated because my kids have been sick ALL WINTER. The Girl was hospitalized in December with an infected lymph node that wouldn't respond to antibiotics. Ever since she has picked up everything that has come her way, and passed it to us. We've had the flu (even though we had a shot, because even though she was sick and had the shot we believe in immunizations around here), three or four stomach viruses, and a constant horrible hacking cough. She's even managed to pick up lice somewhere. I tell you, every time I turn around she has a fever and I'm over it. I'ts impossibly hard to be a "work from home" mom when you have a sick whiny six year old who only wants to be held and waited on to deal with too. So you put the work down. And hold your sick baby. And try not to think about the fifteen things you had planned to do today. And try (and fail) not to be frustrated.
I'm frustrated because I can't seem to get caught up. I keep coming across things I've forgotten to do, like send out an email to my CSA members about the 2019 upcoming season. HOW could I have managed to forget that? It's kinda crucial. I'm way behind on my flower project. But every time I think I'm making progress on my to-do list someone gets sick (again, see the above paragraph), or someone needs me to volunteer at this event, or there's a field trip I need to go on, or The Husband needs help. It's frustrating.
I'm frustrated because all I see anymore is division. Black versus white. Women versus men. Republican versus democrat. City versus country. Gay versus straight. Young verses old. Conventional farmers versus organic. Everyone else versus farmers. It's so frustrating because at the end of the day we're all people. So why not make the best of the time we have, live the best life we can, because one day we won't be here anymore. Why waste your time hating someone else? So what if you don't agree with them? It's their life not yours. Time's too short. They feel the way they feel. You feel the way you feel. Neither of you can help it. Might as well accept that everyone's different and everyone has an opinion and that's okay. Listen to them when they speak, they'll listen to you when you speak. Maybe I'm just naive. Maybe I'm too simple. I just don't see the point, and it's frustrating to see so much pointless hate and anger in the world. It's frustrating to have to raise kids in this environment. In the words of Kenny Chesney, why can't we all just get along?
I'm frustrated because my beloved mini-donkey will not leave Clementine alone and has hurt her, and the Billy we got to try and counteract his aggressiveness has not done so. Next step, try and find a mini-jenny (male donkeys are jacks, females are jennys). Why can't animals just do what you want them to do? It's frustrating.
I'm frustrated because when I sat down to write this blog this is what came out, and I'm not typically a ranter and I don't like being negative, but I also want to be real. And the reality is, farming is hard. And it's frustrating. And rewarding. And brings me joy. And drags me down. All at the same time. When you were a kid did you ever realize as an adult you'd ever feel so much?