From where I’m sitting the grass is green. But the farmer isn’t happy yet. Not green enough, not dry enough. A bit too soft for the girls (his cows). An after dinner tour of a field with his young sons has him perturbed. From the house, I see him walk in the field, shaking his head with his sons in order of height shaking their little heads in sympathy after him. This time last year we didn’t have enough grass in front of the cows, this year it’s too wet. It’s as if he himself is responsible for the earlier bad weather that has left ground drenched. There are a number of factors governing grass growth that fall within a farmer’s remit but the weather is in God’s realm as it were.
Farmer’s, for the most part, work in isolation. They spend hours in the milking parlour, in fields fencing, in tractors alone with too much time for thinking. There is, as with other businesses, a lot of competition. However, unlike other businesses, you are not for the most part, in competition with other farms for profit. This has allowed for many profitable cooperatives to grow over the years in this country. No, It is a different kind of competition that pushes farmers at times. Have you got the cows out yet? How much are your yearlings making? Have you still got fodder for cows? All your manure spread? Pride.
My job as farmer’s wife is complex. Like the priest in the confessional, I listen to what he percieves are his farming sins. I let him talk about all he believes he is doing wrong, farm wise, before offering my tuppense worth, some perspective. I’m the coach in his corner, spurring him on, reminding him of the bigger picture. The accountant, advising him when to be prudent when the milk cheque is stretched. The partner, keeping the flag flying on the home front, some delicious dinners, a creamy sponge, a chat about what his little boys have been up to. The girl, sprinkling his life, when needed, with some joie de vivre and therefore reminding him that faraway fields are not necessarily always greener…
We’re experiencing the same here – got the cows out for 10 days but they’ve been in again. Fed up doing cubicles etc. We’ve heavy land and it is so soft 😦
Seems every season comes with a new challenge – really hard to get used to! We were expecting to have them out at night-time by now, might be another while yet! Looks showery enough for the week! Bah!