A Farmer is an OPTIMIST

Written by Gordon Clark, Horticultural Consultant

“The Farmer Has To Be An Optimist or He [or She] Still Wouldn’t Be A Farmer” by Will Rodgers

Despite world-wide shutdowns, farmers still need to keep working. I and other local volunteers in my hometown work 2.5 acres of vegetables, that last year produced over 9000 pounds of vegetables. We, like farmers or anyone involved in agriculture, always have hope for the future. That’s why we see the immense potential of planting a seed; when nourished and tenderly cared for; becoming a productive tomato plant, head of lettuce, a bunch of peanuts or a basket of limes. 

Think for a moment about the optimism of growing a mango tree. You plant it, graft it, prune it, weed it, protect it for 3-4 years before you get the results of your work – that first, juicy mango. The initial bite is ever so sweet as the slick juice runs down your chin. You eat around the seed savoring every bite. And the seed, so large that you wish it was smaller so you could savor more of the pulp, is a reminder that it is the potential of another mango tree. How, heavenly.

In my area of seemingly perpetual winter…as I write a predicted snowstorm is moving closer… I have spent time getting ready for the upcoming growing season. Seeds have been sown inside and are ready for transplanting. The hoop house has been prepared for planting and I got my hands dirty. Priceless. 

Life continues for the PHF team in Haiti, also. Despite the recent appearance of the deadly coronavirus in the country, a wonderful crop of plantains is almost ready to be picked, peanuts planted recently are growing well, cover crops/green manure are being planted around the mangos, and the team is moving forward with the breadfruit project. 

Maybe this year they will get to taste that perfect mango. Optimism abounds.

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