It’s official. I’m a bona fide farmer!

That’s right people. I just earned cold hard cash by doing farm work! This was so important to me that I even biked 30 miles just to get to work today, and boy am I tired. This after just three hours of harvesting tomatoes and squash. It turns out that farming is tough work! I’m tempted to get a belt buckle like this and proudly wear it every day for the rest of my life:


Yeah, this has always been a dream. It’s definitely going on the resume. You’ll think I’m crazy, but I biked the 30 miles (across the entire city, briefly into the state of Wisconsin for a quarter mile, and straight up a mile-long hill that proved to be hellacious this time) to an organic farm in Wrenshall, MN, for the pleasure of working for minimum wage for a mere three hours (yup, that’s $7.25/hr). Tomorrow I’ll be back for a full eight hours. I won’t complain. Many people volunteer to do this work for free. Also, I think it’s beneficial to actually see what minimum wage looks and feels like. Paradoxically, low wage jobs tend to be tremendously demanding physically.

I arrived 10 minutes late after a 138-minute commute that carried me straight into a 25 mph southerly headwind. It was an uncharacteristically warm day in the upper 70s, so I was steaming in the hot sun, lobster-like, and immediately pedaled to the back of the 240 acre farm to join the fun without taking a break. It felt like moving between stages of a triathlon, or maybe even a pentathlon! After tomato picking was finished we spent the rest of the time in squash heaven. Pumpkins and various winter squash were harvested gently and carefully placed into the piles. The latter will be placed within Food Farm’s state-of-the-art root cellar. Exhausting work indeed, but the people and environment were fantastic.

squash heaven

Rather than biking home in darkness, I was fortunate to catch a ride home. Tomorrow’s commute will only be about nine miles early in the morning to a rendezvous point, because I’ll be riding in an actual automobile with some of the rest of the crew. How exciting!

This makes for a really nice diversion. I’ve been finding it difficult to do any writing between painting jobs. The transition between painting and writing is rather difficult. Furthermore, I’ve been surprised to discover that I’m unable to do any serious thinking or pondering while painting. Though it’s mindless work, one must stay fully engaged in the little details. The act of scratching this farming itch should grease along the process somewhat. Plus, I do need to earn a little cash here and there and this is better than nothing.

Last but not least, our current flock of chickens began laying eggs TODAY, earlier than expected at 20 weeks of age. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, I’d like to thank the mysterious anonymous donor who sent our family $200 in gift cards for the grocery store. What a gift, unexpected, generous. We are grateful. These funds will go to good use. Thank you so much. There have been others over the past few months who have sent gifts of money as well. We’re touched by the unsolicited generosity. These gifts have been heartwarming and sustaining in ways that go beyond dollars and cents. Gracias.

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