The Biggest Problem with Agriculture

Some people finish what they’ve started. Others forget. Mind you, it isn’t always easy to forget; in fact, despite my best efforts, a few unfinished projects still rattle around in my brain, causing intense feelings of guilt and overwhelm. Mostly, these are the unfinished projects I see every day, like the new hardie board siding near the back porch door that I’ve been meaning to paint for six months. If I keep my head down and avert my gaze, I can sometimes successfully enter my abode without the unpainted hardie board penetrating my consciousness. 

That said, it isn’t easy to live in forgetful bliss. When we bought the farm, I knew it had a pigweed problem, but little did I know it was fertile ground for unfinished projects. Everywhere I walk and look, an unfinished project is sprouting up and spreading insidious spores. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t rid the place of them. There is the half-built fence I’ve been meaning to complete, right beside the pasture I’ve been meaning to finish bush hogging, right beside a barn I need to finish cleaning out, in which is a tractor I repainted, save for one fender that is still splotched with rust, and speaking of paint, I’ve got about fifty honey supers that have one coat and need another. 

Most other farms I visit are also overrun by unfinished projects, and nobody seems to know how to control them. It’s probably the biggest problem facing agriculture today–well, that and English majors. Poor souls read Thoreau, then try to live off the land; then at the brink of starvation, the smart ones write something with an irresistible title like “Pasture Poultry Profit$: Net $25,000 in Six Months on 20 Acres” and then become millionaires. The dumb ones dabble in agricultural humor and die. Which is just as well. Death may be the only solution I know of to unfinished projects.

10 thoughts on “The Biggest Problem with Agriculture

    1. Alas, I have spent many an hour thinking about a way to try to try to monetize pigweed. The best I could think of is growing them for Boeing so they could drop the seeds on our worst enemies.

  1. My life is full of unfinished projects — maybe because I develop too many interests? But, thankfully, we have a limited amount of land, which my husband tends to look after (except for the shared tasks of beekeeping and my messy garden), so at least my projects are limited to the space of the house. That’s a good thing, right?

    1. Too many interest here too. Most of my unfinished projects are found outdoors, but occasionally they will invade the house, at which point my wife enacts a no-new project rule.

  2. That must be global. Around here, at my small farm in the Azores islands, although I don’t spend all the year managing it, I have to divide the farm work with my scholar job at the University in the Portuguese mainland. Basically, I have to make lists of urgent/not so urgent projects to finish. During summer is basically renewing the fences… but every summer “there is another one that I have to put in the list for next summer”. Here we have a serious problem with invading plant species and they must be controlled both during summer and winter. The positive thing is the cattle loves them so it is a good food source. But its difficult… I usually say, If you’re healthy you can do whatever you need to do be it today, or tomorrow”. All best and great blog btw.

    1. Wow, you live in the middle of the ocean. It’s kind of hard to imagine cows out there, but that is really neat. I think procrastinating fence mending is a universal problem. Probably even aliens in outer space have it , lol. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      1. Farming around here is a bit different but we face the same challenges. I fully agree with the fencing procrastination. all best!

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