I could go on for pages about my family’s friends but let me go back to more diverse characteristics of Dad.
When I used the term, farmer, above, it Implies to me more than an occupation. Most farmers by their nature are highly independent, inventive and risk taking in their living habits. I just hope I inherited or learned some of these characteristics while growing up. Almost daily, there are accidents on the farm that require immediate actions without help from the outside world in terms of labor or supplies.
Immediate actions are required when a bull decides it is going to tear down a piece of fence to visit a neighbor’s cow. You must retrieve the mad bull who doesn’t want to go home and fix the fence on a very quick schedule. Much improvisation is a necessary skill for a farmer to survive.
All crop growing is at risk from weather, insects and labor availability at critical times of plant growth and harvest. Planning is also required for farmer’s success. Planting and harvest times must be scheduled based on prediction of weather, the characteristics of various plants and animals and other unpredictable events. Longer range planning included crop rotation to preserve fertility and soil erosion issues since much of our land was hilly. Dad kept a simple handwritten book in which he recorded needed records of plantings, breeding and other farm events.