Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Aw, Man. They Love That Stuff!"

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.


MFB said...

Love, love, love. :)

juliet said...

steve martin is the best, i always get a huge kick out of seeing martin farms squash.

love you jess, ash and i are planning a boston trip in the next month or two...

Jody said...

YAY! Congrats Mr. Martin, that's awesome!

Amalia said...

Aww, I got goosebumps. So sweet.

Anonymous said...

and it's not even Father's Day...well played

Jess said...

Juliet, i love you so much and miss you more than you know. a visit with rossi sounds AMAZING. you name the time. Also, could you text me your address?

Thanks Jody! Hope you had a great bday:)

Amalia! Welcome back! I want to hear all about the trip! Can't wait to see my pants.

Marietta said...

That is so cool! I'm vicariously proud!

Jess said...

thanks Marietta!

Macnabbs said...

This is the sort of story that gives you a warm glow. Not just because it's a good story about seasonal good food, it's because it corrects a misconception. I've always had a problem with excessive food packaging. I can't see why you need the skills of a safecracker to get into a bag of spuds.

I think the World Gone Mad moment was when a supermarket sold slices of apple sealed in a plastic bag. Possibly this was designed for children who were not to be trusted to slice up fruit and who were too stupid to work out that apples do not need to be sliced for consumption.

Which led me to believe that placing vegetables in plastic bags was a bad thing. Not so. Because there is, it would appear, a lot of a vegetable that people don't use. There's the peel, which is disposed of, and the seeds, which are normally not eaten either. So all of this just gets thrown away, composted at best, landfill at worst. The idea that all this waste is somehow put to good news is fantastic.

Turning the peelings into animal feed and so on is great. I long to see the advert where two cattle are tucking into a trough and one says to the other ‘Good squash today’, his friend replying; ‘Not just squash…Martin Farms squash.’ Then the tag line: ‘Martins Farms squash…a natural source of starch’ read by either James Earl Jones or Christoper Walken, I’m not sure yet. This would cause people like me to instantly be concerned that I was not getting enough starch, hitherto something I thought was only used in laundry, and to rush out and panic buy squash.

But bottling the oil and flogging it in artisan food shops to folk who want to cook their veg in something exotic is genius. Is it healthy, like some television nutritionists bark at me to be? Is it rich and tasty, like television chefs bark at me to be? Is it both….agggghh, too confusing, BUT as long as I’m still taking instructions from the television it’s a case of sod it, it’s over seven bucks a bottle, it must be good, I’ll have some.

Macnabbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MFB said...

just noticed your senior pic in the background. yet another reason to love this post.

Jack said...

and he still looks great. best smile ever !!