Field Talk

I hope you enjoy this new addition to the Traipse blog:

Field Talk, notes from young farmer and guest contributor, Dana Taylor.

“It’s hard to remember day to day, let alone week to week, what we talk about in the field. This is my third year farming and this year I’ve gotten really good at zoning out of the conversation and focusing on what I’m doing or having my own internal dialogue. There’s a lot of idle banter out there, a lot of pop culture and sports talk. I can’t relate. There are games played. I will participate. Sometimes. But, from time to time, there is a true gem of a conversation. And those are the ones that need to be remembered. Thus is the goal of these essays: to document, to reflect upon and learn from these conversations that fill up the days during the season.

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May 23: We’re out of tags

Oh no.  Ohhh no.  Already?  Again?  Disaster.  When you run out of tags in the greenhouse, the little wooden popsicle-stick-looking things used to label trays, production essentially stops.  You can’t seed any more trays until you can label them, and plants can’t grow if they’re not seeded, and they can’t be planted if they aren’t growing, and can’t be harvested if they aren’t growing and oh my god.  And it will be a few days—if someone orders them right away—until you can proceed.  And so everyone relays the message around the farm:  “Tell so and so we’re out of tags.”

“Hey would you start that lettuce seeding?”

“Oh we’re still out of tags.”

“Oh okay.  Are you sure? “

“Yeah I just looked around, but maybe they’re hiding somewhere…”

“I’ll look around.”

[looks half-heartedly in all the obvious places and the non-existent hiding places]

“Okay well let’s just go do a compost run then.”


Lucky for us, there’s plenty more to do, and since at this point in May we are only in the greenhouse in the morning, the tag shortage slips our minds for the rest of the day. The topic does not enter the field.

But the tags do. We let the tags fall out of the trays in the field when we’re out planting, and there they remain to decompose. It’s just interesting to consider the life cycle of something so small as a popsicle stick label.  Back to the earth. And we do eventually accept the reality of No Tags and we get creative with our tray labels. Or we order another box.”

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