There was a time in my life when I liked to discover stuff. Hate to say it, I’d actually get excited to learn new things. But as a farmer, I’ve become completely anti-discovery–and for good reason. Last year, for instance, I was driving down the road, eyes straight ahead, diligently trying not to discover anything, when I noticed something shadowy in the periphery. “Good gosh,” I thought, “what now?” I tried to resist, knowing that, generally speaking, shadowy things are bad, but my willpower failed me once again: I turned my head to look.
“Holy smokes,” I said, “my whole field is black.” If only I hadn’t looked, my crop would still be green and vigorously growing, like it had been days earlier.
Most of what’s written on this blog should be taken with a big block of red mineral salt, but you can absolutely trust the following piece of farming advice: if your crop suddenly turns black, something is wrong, bad wrong.
Amnesia: Ruined-Crop Cure All
The best solution for a suddenly black crop is either a stout pipe wrench to the head or bottle of hard liquor down the hatch. Either one, when applied quickly enough, can cause a bout of amnesia that erases the discovery of the ruined crop, allowing you to reawaken in the blissful state of prediscovery. Hopefully, you scribbled a warning on your arm for when you reawaken, or else you’re likely to go right back and rediscover the ruined crop, which can lead to a repeating pattern of pipe wrenches to the head and a severe headache.
And hopefully said warning wasn’t something specific like, “Don’t check milo crop because millions of sugarcane aphids are sucking the life out of it.” Discovering a statement like that scribbled on your forearm can cause shock and leave you convulsing on the floor. Thus, with warning notes scribbled on your personage, it’s better to be rather vague and nonchalant. For instance, a sufficient warning written across the forearm might read, “No need to check milo crop. All is well. Everything green (If by chance you do check, keep pipe wrench handy).”
P.S.: another useful bit of farming advice: If you write the warning on your forehead, remember to write backwards so you can read it in a mirror. Also, if you want to grow a great pollinator plot, plant a field of milo for grain, let sugarcane aphids infest it, and every known species of stinging insect will descend on the field to suck up the honeydew.