Week 42: Ain’t No Party Like a Fruit Packing Party

 Uncle Vern’s Weekly Farm-Fueled Musings, June 9–15, 2014

The heaviest part of our stone fruit harvest will be the next few weeks. We had a fruit packing party till midnight Saturday night; quite a riot.

Had a fine young man finish his junior year of high school Thursday, worked his life’s first full day’s job Friday, took his SATs Saturday morning, then came straight to work stacking boxes till midnight. Quite sure he slept well Sunday morning.

One lady who was new and had come from a different industry said after a couple weeks of long days: “I’ve never been in a place where the longer and harder we work, the more genuinely happy the people get!”

This “stay at it till we’re done” mentality is key to all we do on the farm. Seriously, tomorrow is too late and means failure on so many levels. There are things that can be put off till tomorrow or a rainy day, but not many.

For most things, today’s perfect, tomorrow’s okay, and the day after’s too late. The problem is, while tomorrow’s okay, it’s gonna have its own perfect stuff that’ll get pushed back by today’s stuff that’s about to become too late.

The perfect day is also the easiest day. While tomorrow’s okay, it just won’t flow quite as well as today. Here is a very accurate definition you can take to the bank: “Success in farming is the sum of hundreds of timely, well executed events.” I just made that up but I bet the farm on its accuracy every day.

Some accurate principles others have come up with that go along with this are: “Work expands to fill time allotted” and “big rocks go in first.” Demand we determine what the perfect events for tomorrow are today and lay these out first thing as must-do’s. I think if everybody knows at 5:30 in the morning what they have to get done before they can go home and they have the tools training and experience to get it done, they will figure out the best specific order and methods; better yet if they can determine it on their own.

While we may think we’d be most happy on a beach somewhere—and a beach somewhere is certainly an important part of a balanced life—I think we feel most fulfilled when we’re the most productive; for better or worse, that’s just how we’re all wired.

Some of you are thinkin’: “Uncle Vern’s lost it now!” But let me prove it to you. As you go through your day today, keep a lookout for grumpy people. Grumpy people are always either unproductive people or people who feel their work’s insignificant. People who are the most significantly productive are always the most cheerful; check it out.

Looking forward to a good, full, busy day with just a little more than is possible gets our adrenaline flowing. Looking back at sunset on a day where lots of important things got done and the world is better than we found it at sunrise is core to fulfilled satisfaction.

You know those secret, restore-the-password-you-forgot questions? What’s your mother’s maiden name, favorite restaurant, etc.? I had one yesterday: What’s your dream job? No brainer. If anybody wants to hack that account, you can type in “Farmer.” Not a lot of sunsets on the beach, but a whole lot of very satisfying sunsets knowing the world’s better than we found it.

Now its 6:00 a.m., I’m a half hour late! But I did make a few calls at 5:30 so those guys are well on their way to feeling good tonight. Today’s a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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