When you plant something it seems natural that you would think it is going to grow. I mean why would you plant it and expect nothing? So, all those many weeks ago when we planted 3,587 pepper plants I knew there would be peppers at some point. Right? Yes, sure I did….I mean sort of.
So I confess my frustration at my own reaction when I gazed out at the fields a little over 3 weeks ago. “Crap! We need to pick.” A flood of panic washed over me. You see the great harvest brings with it a multitude of challenges. The change in schedule. It is approximately 105* in Alabama from about 9am to 9pm SOOOO, you wake before daylight to begin picking AT daylight. We work early, we work late, we don’t have time for all that needs to be done. It is dirty, hot and difficult work.
I am thoroughly convinced that I could put an end to most of the foolishness in this world by putting some people in the pepper patch. I have tested this theory with my own children. It proves 100% effective at ending foolishness and backtalk. I mean I should charge other people for that service! I have thought of ways to spin this, “Agricultural experience available! Cures sass mouthing kids, trouble makers and cures boredom” seems like the right way to word it.
When you pick peppers you have to find a place where you are fully committed to getting the job done and completely willing to ignore discomfort. That hold true in life so many times I think. When we face something uncomfortable we have a decision to make. Commit and move forward or stand there and site 100 reasons why you can’t. Now at times in my life I have done both. So, I understand the struggle.
Agriculture, it seems, has a way of stripping away the excuses and saying “choose… either move now or lose out in the future.” Harvest waits for no man or woman or tired pepper picker. We face this new harvest with more knowledge. We have learned a little, listened a lot and hold on to the hope that we might still yet be worthy of the title “Farmer” If I would ever be so lucky to earn that title I would count myself blessed. I have gained so much respect for those who farm and feed this country. I fully admit that a reading of Paul Harvey’s “So God Made A Farmer” will dissolve me into the ugly cry. So obviously that is a step in the right direction!
I look forward to what this harvest brings us and can’t wait to share it with you.
Julie Smith Madison , co-owner of Alabama Sunshine