May 19th, 2:34pm. It’s been over a week since being back on the farm. I missed it here. A lot. I’ve tried to explain to people what I miss exactly, but it isn’t that easy. It makes as much sense as the small dog sniffing the big dog’s butt and both deciding, “This works for me.” Andrew texts me saying he’s out and about for the next hour, giving me some time to hang around home base and see things differently than I have in the past. The garage is always the go-to.
I can hear the the clanking of wrenches over murmurs of frustration – Brian is working on a tractor. Greased up and clothes torn, it looks as casual on him as a white tee and khakis. Brian has always welcomed conversation and allowed an intimate proximity for photos – two of my favorite things. Between him talking to himself and looking for parts, we balance the conversational line of his personal life and the farming industry. I’m always learning more than I can keep note of when I’m with Brian.“You ask kids what they want to do when their older and they say things like being the president or an astronaut. I’ve always known I was going to be a farmer. I never wavered in that.” Brian speaks to me like a teacher. He radiates a light spirit and wisdom from his passions and mistakes. I treasure the times I get with a single person. It helps me see the light they’re living in and photographing accordingly.
It’s Paul Albert’s birthday today. He spends the day putting laundry detergent on the roofs. Apparently, it kills the moss. Regardless, it creates a summery smell and if it rains – suds galore.
Mason (left) keeps Tanner company while working on his truck. He drives an old beat up Ranger – Andrew’s high school truck. Andrew is clearly a role model for the boys on the farm, acting as a big brother full of encouragement and joking banter.
We head to land up north where Andrew plans to plant spinach. With seed crops, you’re given a field man by the seed companies acting as a guide through the process. The stakes are high in the seed crop industry so the companies want the farmers to succeed and will do all they can to ensure that. But with a hand in the bucket comes a level of stress for the farmer to pull through on the deal.
Andrew checks in on Wes’ plowing to see how the dirt is turning over. They chat as they refill the tractor. Andrew offers to grab him some dinner to make sure Wes plows as much as possible before the day ends. “Want a picture of some good o’ll spring plowing?”