You Town: Week #14 – 9/8/21
Farming is a collection of repetitive manual tasks. One of the ways we all get through this demanding work, is to keep conversation in the fields. All kinds of meaningful, banal, juicy, and beautiful conversations weave their way through this farm. Most times these conversations happen organically. Sometimes, when on a task that might take several hours, thought experiments provide good fodder to keep the morale up.
One question that has had pretty great traction in field chit chat lately is this:
Imagine a town where there are 100 people in that town and they are all you. They look different and are different ages, but in soul and personality they are all you. What would that town be like?
Hours. I mean hours have been spent exploring this question! It’s a fun one.
A person’s initial response to this question says a lot about their general view of themselves.
One crew member stated easily, “In my town, everything would be ideal.”
Another crew member cringed, and said “Oh god. A whole town of me?”
Some towns would have lots of food. Other towns would be starving but there would be art everywhere. Other towns would only have music made from the tone deaf. Many towns would have long lists and many half-completed projects. Some towns would have lots of drugs. Others would be full of sober music making.
We’ve debated the parameters of this question endlessly as well. Would there be sex in you town? Could we visit other towns? Would the towns be peaceful or would there be disagreement? Would everyone keep acting exactly like each other, or would humans eventually specialize in certain behaviors just to be different from others?
It’s not long and we’re talking about utopias and wars and our views on what’s certain about human nature and what’s not. Until someone us pulls us back the question by saying, in my town there will be black lights everywhere. And we laugh, and then on it goes as our hands keep pulling, crating, banding.
These are the kinds of conversations that happen when we pull your potatoes out of the ground, when we harvest your tomatoes into crates, when we band your bunches of kale.
And wow am I grateful for them. Not just because they help pass the time, but because in these conversations I get to connect with others, hear how their minds work, and share laughter -so much laughter. These conversations that help us pass the time and keep us doing the hard physical work are one of the most precious things about farming. They’re what make the job fun.
Here’s hoping your week includes a moment of good conversation that makes you think, keeps you feeling connected, and brings you laughter.