Miolea Organic Farm

  (Adamstown, Maryland)
Organic Farming from a City Boy's Perspective
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Maybe We should rethink the whole goat thing

I heard a farmer once say that cutting grass is one of the most useless chores on a farm.  At the time I didn't really understand what he meant and he didn't explain and I didn't question.  I made a living cutting grass and that is what helped pay my way through college.

It was seasonal work but it was lucrative and the hours were flexible.  I would target my advertising to more affluent neighborhoods and those enclaves that had professionals.  My rational was that they wouldn't be home enough to cut the grass and I could charge a premium for my time and effort.  I have always been a type A who strives to do the best job I can.  As the saying goes, "If a job is worth doing it's worth doing well."

I hold myself to a higher standard and that has proven to be a problem when dealing with our employees.  I try to make sure they know what a great job they are doing and how much we appreciate their help.  First time mistakes are tollerated but also used as learning experiences.  The work is grueling and in the worst of the heat.  We make sure that they get plenty of water and rest breaks.  We often feed them at lunch if they haven't brought anything and sometimes we'll cook a light meal. 

For me once I get started in the morning I don't stop, I'll work through until 4:00 or 4:30.  I stay hydrated all day but I don't break for a meal.  I hate stopping mid-day to eat, it makes me sluggish, weighs me down but most importantly I never seem to have the appetite.  To me its like working out in a gym and stopping for food and then continue the work out.  It's just not done.

The jobs on a farm are broken into tasks and those tasks that generate revenue are most important.  Those tasks that don't generate revenue must be done but are done begrudgingly.  Like mowing the lawn or trimming the edges or draging the stone driveway.  These are the tasks that are the biggest waste of time and are fruitless in their endeavor. 

What once paid my way through school has now become a bane to my summer routine.  I know what that farmer meant when he said mowing lawns is a useless chore.  You spend time on something you can't sell.  Once you cut grass the darn thing just grows back until you cut it again.  I'd love to have an astro-turf lawn but I think it would run counter to our entire ecological mission, but then again maybe we need to re-think the whole goat thing.

BUY LOCAL - from a farmer not from a chain advertising "Local"


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