Field Chat: CSA Week # 8 – July 31, 2019
Some days we are moving from task to task fairly quickly, or I’m doing more managerial things, so I don’t get to be a part of the field chat.
But sometimes, sometimes I get to just be on a task for a few hours alongside my crew. It is in these times where true field chat happens.
Good field chat is an art. The number one rule is that our hands always need to keep moving. And beyond that, it’s about picking a good topic where conversation can just roll along like water down a stream. Eddies are fun. Lulls can be good too.
This morning a small team of us were clearing a couple of beet beds. We got on to talking about our different strategies for facing long, tedious tasks on the farm.
Jimmy said his main strategy is to just assume he’ll be doing whatever task it is for the rest of the day. Then he’s pleasantly surprised when the task is completed.
Ryan says he just tries to stay equanimous. We then launched into a long discussion of what the word actually means. How to pronounce it. Whether one should risk using this word in conversation in case someone mistakenly thinks you are a horse lover, etc. We did not resolve the pronunciation issue until we had a smart phone tell us at lunch time.
We kept the conversation going through the beet harvest. When I looked at my watch and it was already near lunch time, I was shocked. (Then a little panicked knowing how much more we have to do today). I told the rest of my team and they were shocked as well. Ryan said he felt like it was only 10:30 in the morning.
The river of our conversation then flowed to how we all know we love farming because of the way time moves when we are working. It never drags. And instead of wondering how we are possibly going to get through the day, we instead wonder how we will finish all the tasks that need finishing before the day is over.
I don’t really want to meander too far in boring conversational repetition. Rather I just hope to convey that sometimes finding yourself in an hours long task or manual labor surrounded with good farm chat can be fun. It’s how most of our crew spends theirs days. Just working with their bodies and keeping each other company with talk. As a farm manager I usually have way too many things I’m responsible for on any given day to really settle in to a long task and have some farm chat.
This morning, however, I was able to and it was such a joy.