We had wonderful rains Thursday night. With our land so parched and dry this was a wonderful blessing from God. But the results of the rains lead to the need for all six of our big tractors to be needed to run all day today to sand-fight the row crops. When the ground dries after a rain, a hard crust is formed on the soil. High winds can then pick up tiny particles of sand and blow them across the little plants and rub them like sandpaper. Those little plants don’t like that at all. Sometimes the treatment is so rough that the little plants wither and die. If we run what we call “sand-fighter plows”, over the fields it brings up nice soft clumps of dirt to soften the situation.

Since we had a late freeze at the beginning of May, the grape harvest will be quite short for us this year. So, the harvest of the row crops will be essential to keep the family farm afloat financially.

It was still rather muddy in places today, but there is the possibility of high winds on Sunday so all the fields have to be covered. Four times one of the three 2-wheel drive tractors got stuck in the mud. Like this one…

Large tractor with wheels stuck in the mud.
Photo credit – Blake Bingham

Notice the little green plants in the rows that we are trying to protect.

Learning from Experiences

Our younger workers just call on the cell phone to one of the big 4-wheel drive tractors to come pull them out if they get stuck. My husband, Cliff, told me an interesting story tonight at dinner break though. He told me neither his dad, himself, or our oldest employee get the two-wheel tractors stuck, today or any other day. Why? Well, that’s a good question. He went on to explain that in the day when all a farmer had was a 2-wheel tractor and perhaps only one, if he got it stuck, then that was all the work that he could do for the day or until the field dried out enough to get the tractor unstuck. That could mean losing the rest of the field that hadn’t been sand-fought. When there was no other tractor that could pull you out, you could lose a whole year’s crop which could lead to losing the whole family farm.

The Generations Learning from each Other

Because of all that, the older workers have learned to be very careful about not risking getting stuck because the consequences could be very drastic. It seems to be like that in many areas of life. The younger generation has it easier in ways, plus they haven’t experienced the failures that the older generation has. Perhaps both can learn from each other. The younger ones can share the excitement of trying new things. The older to share that caution can often safe guard us from danger and sorrows.

It is hard for the older to give the younger room to explore and room to grow. It is hard for the younger to respect and appreciate what the older ones have already been through and experienced.

Tomorrow we are having a family gathering. Hopefully there will be four generations of Binghams there. Can we learn to appreciate each other and learn from each other? I hope so.


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