Adding Laughter to my life!

I ran to the Post Office this morning, and it was the most enjoyable run I’ve had in a long time–I really appreciated the Wide Open Spaces!  I guess I’ve been taking them for granted!!  I couldn’t believe how far I could run without seeing a high-rise building! We spent a week in Baltimore, and I never ran once–you can’t just “go running”. You can’t carry money–you’re all by yourself, and it’d be early morning or late just before dark in order to be between meetings.  Nevertheless, Baltimore is beautiful: our room was on the Chesapeake Bay!  But, I couldn’t help but think how many more useful ways they could’ve used the shoreline…

And how many Indians–and colonists– had cleaned fish right where I was standing, albeit on the 11th floor!  I observed a lot of  people–to see if they were thinking about the Indians and the colonists–no, can’t say that they were.  I also made the astute observation that city-dwellers buy a lot more stuff–because they are in proximity to places to buy stuff EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY!  Pardon my all-caps, but there is not one piece of concrete that doesn’t have a sign on it–and the real estate is so pricey, they have to sell something there in order to pay the rent.  Wow, what a different perspective to look at “space”–not as Wide Open Spaces, but as Rental Income. 

Of course, I know you’re saying “Why did you go to Baltimore?”.   Well, we attended the North American Farmers Direct Marketing meeting, to which we’ve been going for 10+ years. We always learn alot, and meet many nice people, most of them farmers–from all over the world, I might add.  One of the speakers is from Colorado, now living in Mexico, so his kids get a taste of another culture, where they can immerse themselves in Spanish–and learn it more easily.  I took his day-long seminar because it was on “Laugh-o-nomics–The Business of Laughter”.  I need to put humor in my day, and change my demeanor to less serious.  After all, ahem, it doesn’t matter if all the Lavender doesn’t get picked before it rains on it!  Yes it does!  See, this is why I’m serious–farming is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly, thank you, ma’am.  The calves have to be fed exactly 12 hrs apart, for everyone who asks me why it’s SO important to be at the barn at 4am.  Their little stomachs are not made of iron, like a human’s! 

If I don’t get all the Lavender that’s actually in bloom picked before it rains on it, it can go by before I get it picked, and WHO wants to waste Lavender??  Not me! 

I met alot of farmers that are just in the apple business and most of their help just makes pies all day.  I met farmers who have bakeries, and have only 12 acres.  The customers have trained the farmer to only sell value-added products so that the customer can still go to the farm in high-heels, no kidding.  In 2011, most people are 3-4 generations removed from the farm, so they don’t realize that they can’t wear the same shoes as they wear the rest of the week. 

Being a farmer in 2011 is quite the balancing act–between growing what you Grow, and selling what you Grow–and having the time to Grow, make the value-added product, market it, and sell it (marketing it and selling it being 2 different things!).  The biggest complaint farmers–from all over the world, I might add–have, is getting–and keeping good employees.  For one, they can’t find a labor pool, and two, when they find it, they had no idea what working on a farm entails.  I guess this is one of the best reasons to go to these meetings–to see that farmers from all over the world have the same concerns.  So, for that, I am grateful for Cities like Baltimore!  Amen!



  1. Wonderful thoughts and observations about your visit and experiences in Baltimore. As you said, NO one was thinking about the Indians and fishermen and shellfishermen who indeed worked directly on the Bay. I am guessing you were on the Inner Harbor, near Camden Yards. It IS a gorgeous place, more so on a boat out in the harbor looking at all the many facets of this multi-use place. As you return to your roots in Connecticut, I wish you Happy Farming! – Ken Proudfoot

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