First-Time Farm­ers

It seemed like a good plan.

Farm & Ranch Living - - FARM TABLE -

Five years ago, my hus­band, Tom, and I or­dered 1,500 as­para­gus crowns, along with other fruit and veg­etable plants, all at once.

We were brand-new farm­ers. In fact, un­til col­lege, I had thought olives grew with pimien­tos in them.

It wasn’t un­til our or­der ar­rived that we re­al­ized our mis­take.

“Which ones are the as­para­gus?” I won­dered out loud.

“I think they are the ones that look like squid," said Tom, who be­fore our move had been a third-gen­er­a­tion char­ter fish­er­man in Florida.

We turned to Google and YouTube Univer­sity to fig­ure ev­ery­thing out.

When we got to the as­para­gus, I looked up an ar­ti­cle on­line. That’s when I re­al­ized some­thing: “Hey, Tom. It says we were sup­posed to have pre­pared the field a year ago to make sure there is no grass or weeds.” “Too late now,” replied Tom. He made raised beds and laid ir­ri­ga­tion tape. Next, he ran the potato plow over the beds to make a fur­row for the plants.

The first few rows were fun. Tom dropped the plants while I care­fully placed them, spread their roots, and cov­ered them with our red clay.

By day three, my knees seemed to be per­ma­nently dam­aged, my clothes were ru­ined, and we were ex­hausted.

We started to bicker. Af­ter a while, our con­ver­sa­tion seemed so piti­ful, we de­cided to go to bed. “Re­mind me why we changed houses, ca­reers, friends and states?” I said mostly to my­self in the dark.

There was a long pause. “Be­cause we wanted a sim­pler life,” Tom said.

We laughed and called it a night.

PAULINE HYL­TON MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA

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