Sometimes, it takes a dose of reality for me to truly appreciate farmers.
It’s not that I don’t have an understanding of where my food comes from—my grandparents are generational canola producers, and I benefit from their crop year after year.
But sometimes, I think I take it for granted that there will always be a canola field for me to run around. The truth is, farming is hard work, and it’s susceptible to many factors—like the weather. And this year in Alberta, Mother Nature is playing hardball.
I can feel the stress on my grandpa, who is still trying to get his seed in for this growing season. A task made that much more difficult thanks to some unfortunate weather the past few weeks. (I haven’t even been out running as much since it’s either wet, or—gasp—slippery!)
To give you some perspective, farmers need 14 weeks to grow a crop. Seeding can’t begin until all of the snow melts (just the other day, some parts of Alberta received heavy hail!) and the moisture-saturated land dries—which, thanks to more rain, has been challenging. To make things even more complicated, last year’s daily showers during harvest meant that some crops couldn’t get harvested, and they still can’t because of the moisture in the soil. That could mean an extra delay in seeding this spring.
Grandpa says he needs to take advantage of EVERY dry day if he’s going to get his crop in—and then, we all need to hope for perfect growing weather to ensure the seeds have enough time to grow. We live in Alberta though, so weather is about as unpredictable as it gets. Which is why this long weekend, Grandpa will be in his fields.
Now I understand why my parents are always telling me to PLAN AHEAD. Like, school assignment deadlines, and budgeting my allowance for unexpected things. Because you never know what life challenge you will need to deal with.
Gotta jet! I’m spending the next few days on the farm helping Grandpa. What are you doing for the long weekend?
~ Chase Superman Duffy
P.S. The Superman Duffy book tour kicks off again next week with visits to schools in St Paul and Viking. Watch my Twitter and Instagram for updates and pictures!