It’s harvest-time… which means I’m laying by the pool, eating popsicles and working on my tan. Haha — a farmwife can dream right?
Although that’s what I wish I was doing… in reality while “the men” are out harvesting, I’m doing my little part to help make their life a little more pleasant during their long, hot, dusty, itchy harvest days. Instead of working on my tan I’m working my own business, trying to fit in endless hours of yard work, fighting with my old lawn-mower (grrrr), doing my best to keep our kids happy and busy while they’re out of school, and taking meals out to the field (a.k.a tailgate dinners) for my Farmer and crew.
Make no mistake, I ain’t no hero and “the men” probably don’t do their happy-dance when they learn that it’s my night to cook. Luckily for them, they’re only stuck with my cooking 2x/week. 2 of my sister-in-laws, my mom-in-law, and I share the “duty” of preparing meals every harvest season. It’s a good farming-family system.
“Give me the debit card please.” That’s what I said to my Farmer when it was my first day to cook this harvest. I had just returned from the lake with the kids, our house was a disaster, the grass was so long it was heading out, there wasn’t a stitch of clean clothing in the house, the cat litterbox was overflowing, the dogs were out of food, I had at least 80 emails waiting for my response, I had a website that needed to be finished coding by the next morning, I was in serious need of a nap… AND I had to take supper out to the field for 10 people in a few hours. Ya sure no problem right?! NOT! Although I hate to spend extra $ on meals for the field… there are days when I am most thankful for take-out food from the blissful Town of Elie that I pass through on the way to our grain farm.
Now why is it that I feel like a failing farmwife when I resort to take-out? I should feel like a WINNER… dang the burgers from Elie Hotel are delish… like INSANELY delish! But it’s true… I feel like a failure when I show-up in the field with take-out… as if I’m not doing my part, and I seriously suck in the farmwife department. Perhaps I just have the sense to know that I can’t do it all?!
I grew-up spending many days during harvest with my Grandma. I would tag along to the farm with my Dad, and while he was in the field I’d stay at the farm-house with Grandma. She was a rockstar… seriously! Every day during harvest she would take lunch out to the field for “the men” (typically sandwiches, cookies, orange Koolaid and coffee)… and then she would have supper ready and waiting for when they came in from the field late at night (always a superstar spread). She would spend her entire day harvesting vegetables from her garden; making home-made soups, cookies, cakes, and breads; packing lunches, doing dishes, preparing supper and doing more dishes… and NEVER would I hear a complaint. She was awesome, and I loved spending days with her helping and visiting.
Harvest time brings happy times… yes, there is some serious goodness in these long, exhausting, hopeful days.
Although practice hasn’t made things perfect for this farmwife… after 16 years of preparing harvest meals, I’d like to think that I have a few good meal plans under my belt. Quick, simple, cost-effective… and hopefully “the men” will like it. That’s what I strive for, alongside finding meals that will taste great after sitting for hours or days on end.
“Bring supper for six at 5pm”… 30 minutes later, “Change of plans… bring supper for ten at 7pm”… an hour later , “It’s raining, you won’t need to bring supper”… after I’ve already prepared enough food for 10 and packed everything up in the van. Gah!
Although this can be frustrating… I’ll continue baking, cooking, packing, delivering, cleaning and dishwashing for my Farmer and the crew, so we can put meals on our table and provide food for others too.
Although my meals aren’t rockstar like my Grandma’s were, I’m doing the best I can and am grateful for the harvest each year brings us. And while I wait for my Farmer to come home after a long day, I always take a moment to look at the beautiful harvest moon. Today was a good day and tomorrow will be another good one on the farm.