Friday, 24 May 2019

Taking Time to Appreciate Where Our Food Comes From

Sometimes, it takes a dose of reality—or Mother Nature—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. (You do too—in more ways than you think!)

But sometimes, 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 in Alberta, as well as in many parts of the world, there's nothing predictable about Mother Nature.

Every year, my grandpa worries until he can get his seed in for this growing season, a task made that much more difficult when the weather won't cooperate. 

To give you some perspective, farmers need 14 weeks to grow a crop. Seeding can’t begin until all of the snow melts (we had snow in some parts of the province a couple of weeks ago) and the moisture-saturated land dries—which, if it's raining, like it is today, makes it even more challenging. And if all of last year's crops couldn’t be harvested, and still can’t because of the moisture in the soil, that could mean an extra delay in seeding.

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 Grandma says we shouldn't hold our breath. (Seems like good advice, anyway!) As much as possible, Grandpa tries to plan ahead.

Which is what my parents are always telling me to do. Like, school assignment deadlines, and budgeting my allowance for unexpected things—because you never know what life challenge you'll need to deal with.

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend, whatever the weather.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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