Bingo category – Mind
Farm is the accounting of a year on a family farm in central Missouri. Tom, Sally, and their children raise corn, soybeans, and hogs on this farm, which is actually a patchwork of smaller farms. The year is mid-1980s, so there are the Reagan/Clinton farm policies to be dealt with, as well as issues such as how the land can be plowed, what to do about storage if there isn’t enough, and the ever temperamental weather situation. The fact is that not all the land is actually theirs (rented to them by older/absent owners) and then there are the farming equipment issues. The children consist of two older teen sons, one, with vision issues that limit his ability to perform some of the farming chores, and the other, looking forward to leaving farming. And a pre-adolescent daughter, bright and definitely the shining future of the family.
I chose the Bingo category “Mind” for this book, because it jumped out at me the mind-set necessary to be successful (and Tom and his family were definitely that) in this field. Equipment breakdown? Tow it back to the barn and fix it, or fix it in the field if needs be. Just planted that field and it pours rain? Let it dry out, plow it up, and replant. No sense in complaining about what can’t be helped. And when it’s harvest time, that’s where you’ll be, until there’s no more light. Get up early the next morning and pick up where you left off. This was a fascinating look into a life that is completely unknown to so many of us, and yet so necessary.
And then there’s those bits of wisdom leaned, no doubt the hard way. Blaze, one of his farm dogs, follows after the tractor as Tom heads on down to the hog pens. Soon enough, Blaze had already lost interest in the hogs and was happily chewing away on a clump of frozen hog manure. She was a farm dog through and through. You didn’t want to encourage her to lick your face.