My father has had the same job since he was nine.
There are pictures of him interning at an even younger age, but basically he started part-time as a 9-year-old and never looked back.
Farming is a lifestyle more than a career choice. I met someone at the restaurant one time who said he was a farmer and I became totally excited.
"You are?! My dad's a farmer! What do you grow?"
"Well, I have a small patch of sunflowers. I don't actually plant them or pick them, but I sell them for profit. And it's fun to say I'm a farmer. I really develop real estate."
I just nodded politely.
Farming requires an incredible amount of dedication. It's investing your entire life in the ground. The EARTH. Not to get all hippy about it, but it has always blown my mind. My dad and his brothers entered a business contract with Mother Nature without any guarantees. The deal was basically that they would show up everyday for about the rest of their lives, and try to make something grow. If something did grow, they'd pick it. And then they'd start all over again. The commitment astounds me. Without exaggeration, I have trouble agreeing to be with a wireless provider for two years. The fact that my dad has made farming his life for his whole life, humbles me.
Growing up, whenever we saw our dad on a tractor, or forklift, or huge truck, or any piece of machinery, he'd shout at the top of his lungs, "Hi girls!" He was always so freaking happy to be doing whatever it was he was doing. His happiness made me really proud.
Around this time last year I walked into a Shaw's and the first thing I saw was my family's squash. Brina and Ness text me whenever they see it in NY. Every time this happens I feel like my dad has shown up to surprise us, shouting enthusiastically, "Hi girls!"
I love to think that a part of him is with us in our cities.
Anyway, there was a really nice article about the farm in the Rochester paper today and I had to give my dad a shout out. When I talked to him this afternoon he was on top of the world. Always one to return a compliment, this was our exchange:
"Dad! I'm so proud of you! You grow the best squash!"
"Thanks, Jess! You do too!"
Yay Martin Farms!
Note: I know this was mushy, but that's how I like my squash.