Saturday, June 22, 2013

Can't Have It Quiet

I've always been more of a livestock type of person. Plants typically don't like me. But the microgreens have been a breakthrough into the quiet, quiet world of dirt farming (such as it is), and have been the first successful thing I've done where plants are concerned. It's taking some getting used to though, all this messing around in dirt with seeds and stuff. And it's taking some getting used to as to how quiet this job is. Plants don't moo at you, or snort in frustration because you're late, or push on fences because they're feeling impatient. Everything is quiet. And still. I ain't used to that. I may be a quiet person, but I talk a LOT when I'm around the livestock. More often then not it's just mindless chatter to keep them alert as to my location (more than once I've spooked an animal because I was too quiet), but it also helps new animals get used to having a human as a part of their life. And plus, I like to talk to them. I can say whatever I want without wondering what they're thinking, and I have an easier time processing ideas when I say it out loud. I think the reason I'm quiet around people is because I've already said what I wanted to say around the animals.

But then we switch over to the micros. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to talk to my vegetables. Nope, not this girl. Talking to a cow is one thing, and is slightly understandable. Talking to a radish shoot just doesn't have the same appeal... I didn't last very long with all that quiet while tending the plants. In fear of going insane, I finally pulled out my MP3 and flicked on some music. And now it's habit. If I'm planting or harvesting the micros, I always reach for my music. Lately I've been thinking how much I would love to have an iPod; then I could tuck that little gizmo into my back pocket and sing along with whatever's playing. That's the one thing I don't like about my MP3: I can't sing with it. You can't hear yourself with ear buds in. LOL. An iPod would be fun to have in the barn too, or when moving the sheep to a new paddock. Instead of chattering ceaselessly, I could sing. :) The animals might rebel against that idea what with all the sudden warbling, but oh well; I never asked them anyway. 

Some might say I have an -- addiction, to my music and when confronted with such an accusation I always grin and say, "Maybe. Maybe not!" It's true; I don't really know if I've fallen that far yet. But I do love my music, and all kinds of it. Music bridges the gap between the emotions I feel and the words I don't know how to say; a lot of times I sing songs simply because I don't know how else to say what I'm thinking. It takes my mind off of mundane tasks (washing dishes, mopping the floor, mixing soil, seeding microgreens...), and makes the job more enjoyable. I can do without a lot of things in life, but I don't think I'd get far without my music. I think I might would go without books before I went without music (and that's saying something; the librarians don't even blink when I check out 40+ books in one fell swoop).

Flipping between chores with livestock and plants always takes a moment to adjust to; with the stock I'm busy talking, keeping an eye on Gyp, observing the stock, doing routine tasks, and then there's the occasional escapee to deal with, or perhaps an animal needs some quick vetting. With the plants, there's a sudden and drastic loss of stimulation. I feel like everything just went into freeze mode. It takes me awhile to settle down enough to enjoy the peace that the plants offer; one certainly doesn't have to worry about them running off or overeating some grain. But I think it's going to take some time before this fireball of a farm girl can tame herself down enough to truly enjoy this work. And until that happens, at least I have my music to keep me company. 

1 comment:

maddie said...

just so ya know, my dad likes to refer to a study that was done (in the sixties?) about how talking nicely to your plants can improve their growth and speaking negatively the reverse. They also tested something inside the plants and noticed a difference in the biochemicals(?) when a light was turned on at night.