A Day in the Life:What's it Like to be a Farmer?
For us, farming is a LABOR of LOVE. It’s not easy being a farmer, and the truth is there’s more to it than just growing vegetables. On any given day we might be working on carpentry, electrical or mechanical projects...whether we had planned to or not. Successful farms also understand that there is a crucial business component as well. That means that amidst planting, harvesting and distributing there’s also marketing, bookkeeping and more to do. Ever wonder what it’s really like to be a farmer? Read on to take a walk in our boots for a day…
Some people are early birds, and on the farm it’s a necessity. Waking up at 4:30 AM gives us ample time to meet the demands of farming as well as family. They say the early bird gets the worm...so it’s no wonder our fields are full of them!
(See that little light down at the bottom??? That's US, harvesting by headlamp!!)
The Early Morning
In order to keep the wheels turning, some of our senior team members get a start on the workday as early as 5:00 AM. The advantage is this offers a solid 4 hours prior to 9:00 AM in which to:
Perform office work and create the day’s strategy and objectives for the farm
Harvest vegetables and physically prepare the farm for the day ahead
Brief our farm crew on the day’s goals and assist them in starting to water, harvest, etc.
Ensure that family needs are cared for (like getting breakfast and going to school)
9-5? How About 9-7??
Now, the day really gets going! All the planning and preparation of the early morning goes into full effect when we go into a solid work day to accomplish what the farm needs. Generally, the whole farm crew will work from 9:00 AM until about noon at which point we break for lunch.
Once we’ve had our fill (with plenty of Moon Valley Farm vegetables included of course!) we get back to work. As soon as 12:30 PM we’re back in the fields and greenhouses, often with a focus on tractor work to successfully complete the day.
Family time is important on the farm and by 4 PM it’s time for many of us to take a break with family and gather for dinner.
During the growing season, senior farm members often finish out a couple more hours of work for the day with a target of ending by 7:00 PM.
The Work Week
While many professionals embrace a five day work week, on the farm that just won’t cut it. In order to bring our customers the best produce we can cultivate many members of our farm team work six days a week, with an occasional seventh workday in order to keep everything running smoothly!
Life is full of surprises, and on the farm that sometimes means facing an unexpected challenge. Whether it’s a pending stormfront that could damage crops or greenhouses, or a tractor that needs to be fixed, things happen where we need to pitch in on an unplanned adventure!
Sometimes this means harvesting at night with headlamps, or re-planning the day to secure hoop houses. It’s times like these where we brew another cup of coffee (why not a whole pot?!), dust off our hands and set our hearts and minds to being the best farmers we can.
So, what do you think? Would you want to live the farm life? We’re so thankful for our Farm-ily and to have the opportunity to work hard at changing our local food system and ecology for the better! Farming can be hard work, but the most worthwhile pursuits often are.