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Music as an analogy to farming

Today's post is from a very special guest, Farmer Mike! So without further ado, read on for some insight from his morning commute.

Digging up the sweet potatoes

As I was driving to work this morning, I decided to switch things up and listen to some music. This isn't my normal routine, usually it's the news or a talk show. But today called for some music.

In the middle of a song I had the thought to try and listen to each individual instrument. Now, I'm not the most musically inclined person, so who knows what made me think of this idea. It was really interesting! Most of the time when we listen to music we just hear and enjoy the whole, finished product without analyzing all the different parts. Especially with good, well-produced music that is intended to sound smooth and pleasing and professional. It's just good music and we don't really question why or how.

But with a bit of focus and attention, I was able to hear the bass guitar do its thing, the percussion keep the beat, and the lead guitar with the melody. It was a fun exercise to think about how well-put-together this song sounded while realizing just how much work went into making it that way. From the actual performing musicians to the sound engineers, the mixing studio staff, the agents and team managing the band or musicians, and more!

And then, predictably, my mind turned to farming. And the analogies between this little thought experiment and how One Acre Farm functions. I'm sure not many people think about or even know all of the tasks, people, connections, and routines it takes for the farm to run smoothly.

From ordering the correct amount of seeds in the winter for the upcoming year to deciding on how much of each type of crop we're going to need each season, some of the "instruments" are predictably farm related. But then there are things like negotiating with a grading contractors to level a patch of land in order to construct a new high tunnel. Or getting a water quality testing agent to come out and take samples from the pond and well. Even things like figuring out how to design a pretty email to boost CSA sign-ups.

After everything, it all boils down to getting good vegetables in the shares. When the farm is running smoothly and we're getting that main thing accomplished, you don't really stop to listen to each individual instrument. But it is amazing how many there are and how each one really does need to be perfectly in tune for the "song" to sound good enough that no one questions the process.

I hope this all makes sense, from my brain to yours! If you're a member, we hope you're enjoying the "music", and whether you're a member or not, if you want to know more about the instruments, come to our farm party next Saturday the 14th! We'll be doing a tour of the fields and answering all your questions. You can check out Compost Crew who will be hosting their own event that day as well. We'll have food for purchase from Foodies, Farms, and Friends and great live music from Herb and Hanson.

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