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Life’s Too Short to Not Have Some Fun
No doubt you have been wondering why a fellow such as me – handsome, urbane, talented and most of all deluded – would choose to spend his Octobers bouncing around on a wagon full of straw, indulging my inner agriculturalist, talking to people about farming.
This meets the Number One Requirement I have set out for myself as I have gotten older and allegedly wiser. Whatever I do has to be fun. Life is just too short to waste doing things you don’t enjoy.
Anyway, back to the farm. I spend my Octobers working at Waterman’s Farm Market on the southeast side of Indianapolis, leading tours at the Fall Harvest Festival. We do an interesting twist on the old “hayride to the pumpkin patch” routine (an autumn classic at pumpkin patches everywhere) by having people like me narrate the tour. We tell guests about the farm, what we grow there and what they can come and pick their own vegetables in season.
Now, I don’t want to turn this into a free ad for my place of employment, and I don’t want to insult any of the other good, sincere pumpkin providers in central Indiana.
But I will tell you that that talking to folks about picking their own produce meets another requirement I set up for myself: I try to choose jobs that do some good for people. I’ve never been shy about doing what I wanted for my own selfish reasons, but now I want to do for others when I can. Like I said, life is short.
Bedsides which, food is just too important to trust to some giant corporate green-bean company that cares most about the green than it does about the bean.
I grew up in the country, in LaGrange County, where men are men and women say that explains a lot. Anyway, we knew what it meant to eat well, and the source our good eating was about 50 feet out our back door. We knew the delights of fresh-picked strawberries, tender new peas, juicy home-grown tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, everything good you can imagine eating, all picked minutes, sometimes moments before we sat down to eat. And, in my case, eat and eat and eat.
Typical story -- I never really realized how good I had it until I left home and fell into the world of high sodium and fat contents, tongue-twisting preservatives and mysterious sources in the food I ate. You know the old saying “You are what you eat?” I was a drive-through burrito.
In time, I became so disgusted with the quality of the food-like substances I was eating that I sought out something that would take me back to the good, clean fresh food of my kidhood. In a long and roundabout way, that led to me to telling people where their food comes from and why it is best to eat local. It doesn’t have to be 50 feet out the back door. Nearby will do.
I found lots of people who wanted to eat that way but didn’t know where to begin. And that is why I spend Octobers bouncing around in a wagon full of straw telling people about farming.
Well, that, plus it’s fun. Of course, it would be nice if it paid a gazillion dollars, too, but what the heck. I’m not THAT deluded.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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