in which I force myself to write

25 October, 2010

rice field and tractor

Ok, it’s 10 o’clock, and Daniel wanted to leave at 1030, that leaves me exactly half and hour to write. To write. That is to say, to make myself write. I’ve been so depressed lately that nothing sounds good, nothing sounds do-able- even writing. Especially writing my thesis. So, while this isn’t my thesis, it is a blank word document, it is a start, even if I delete the whole thing in a minute from now.

So I’ve already told you about the tomato fertility party that I want to include in the T (T is what we’re going to call the thesis from now on, for brevity and my sanity), and I told you that I worked with some farmers this summer, and I want to write about them- the Buela’s with their diverse farm speckled with purple fruits and kittens, Adam West with his OG kale farm and the days spent fighting flies and harvesting garlic, Tate Gerard and his family’s rice farm, laid out over the gorgeous Mississippi flood plain. I still need to tell you about the Farmer’s market in Carbondale and how much time I spent preparing grass-fed beef from Josh B’s stall so I could collect information on how its taste compared.

Ok, It’s been about 10 minutes and I’m fighting the urge to get myself coffee or check on the dog or listen to Daniel get ready…. Fighting fighting fighting loosing winning oh good god when did it become so hard to write when did my photos become so overwhelming I can’t even bring myself to look at them, when did the traffic – ok, this is not helping.

So Adam West… that’s not his real name, obviously, and I’ll have to think of a new Pseudonym for him… what an ass. He was one of the first people I interviewed and worked with that I genuinely didn’t like. He spent hours telling my how important it was to include the farm hands, how vital it was they understood they were part and parcel of the farm success, how crucial their positivity was to growing good food, yet I listened as the farm hands patiently asked for the days schedule only to be told we’ll have to see. I listened as one farm hand begged to harvest in the morning and bundle at noon, when the heat in the field angered the horseflies and left sweat dripping off her nose, and I watched as he ignored her requests and kept bundling produce. Later I learned that garlic harvest in a highly humid area is nearly impossible, as the drying process is crucial to their flavor and sell-ability. I decided that Adam had perfectly sound reasons for breaking up the day as he did. But I don’t understand why, if the farm hands are so important, why he simply ignored all of their requests. Perhaps he didn’t feel like explaining.

He stressed how important it was to include, in my eventual writing, that the farm is not simply a one-person project but a group effort, yet in my interactions it was clear that while without help the farm would not be productive, without him there was no farm. The farm might need multiple people to work it, but only one person needed to know why it was being worked the way it was. Him, and possibly, the governing of the OG certification.

And now it’s been a half an hour and my coffee cup is empty.

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2 Responses to “in which I force myself to write”

  1. Eli Says:

    slaying white bulls huh?

  2. harlequin Says:

    I bet you have no idea how
    seeing anything of you
    sparks a little fire
    in the arches of my feet.


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