Hot days don’t seem to happen often here in Vermont, but when they do, man oh’ man those days are felt to the core. In the past, hot days meant beach trips, sitting by a pool, or drinking long islands on a roof deck. Now, it means oscillating fans and the whirring rhythm of various tractors and machinery as well as the huffs and snorts of draft horses used to complete the haying process. With so much rain this summer, the farmers have had very few windows of time to complete their hay. Hay that is necessary for their livestock and of course their very livelihood. So, despite temperatures that reach over 90 degrees, the farmers do their haying. I see them reach the point of exhaustion that it appears they can’t go on. But then they do. One afternoon, I saw one of the farm-owners of the property where we live, so tired…so hot…so wobbly, just plop down in the shady grass in such a way I thought she may have passed out. As she lay there I saw her swat her face at a fly and I knew she was okay, albeit on the brink of death as it may have seemed. But then she got up, because farmers always do.
From my observation, farming is unforgiving but it is forever rewarding in unmeasurable terms. Being married to a farmworker and filling a supportive role in this farm lifestyle , I can attest that farmers and farmworkers are the hardest working people I know. It may not be the most heroic, or prestigious, but it takes the most brilliant minds and biggest heart.