The Farmer’s Husband
Everyone can probably picture an image of a farmwife, a female Jane-of-all-trades equally capable with animals, crops, children and housework. Well in my family, I’m the farmer and my husband, Andy, is the farmer’s husband. I don’t think he really knew what he was getting himself into when we fell in love. “A farm! How picturesque! We’ll eat well! We’ll have a wholesome life!” These things are in fact true; farming is beautiful and meaningful, but it’s also tiring and dirty and frustrating more often than not.
“The first sunny day in April, let’s go for a hike!” says my excited farm husband.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I have to water the greenhouse and pick tulips all day. Oh, and can you watch our daughter ALL weekend?” says me.
“Let’s take a family vacation! How about August?”
“Oh, shoot. That’s when the peak summer fruits are coming on and I have to be here to navigate distribution.”
“Well certainly January is good to get away, that’s the slow time, right?”
“Well actually, only if I get all my seed and supplies orders done in time and have time to get back before new staff start showing up.”
Andy is a behind-the-scenes player on the farm. He can do and fix anything. He mows the grass, grades the driveway, weed whacks the blackberries, and is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the property and the farm. He built a beautiful flagstone walkway around our home, installed and maintains our landscaping, built a play structure for our daughter, and planted and maintains 200 apple trees. He did the finish carpentry on our breakroom, sided the tractor shed, poured every concrete pad on the farm since 2015, wrangled 5000 square feet of metal greenhouse tables, built the roof over our walk-in cooler, created our employee parking area, and is on on-call duty for all sorts of unpleasant inopportune tasks. Sweeping snow off greenhouses in the middle of the night? Check. Emergency weekend squash harvest when his family is in town? Check. He understands when I can’t or won’t leave and when I’m working all weekend, and tolerates the unending noise of 20- and 30-year-olds coming and going and blaring music from the packshed, seven tractors and five trucks running around the farm, and seemingly always ill-timed delivery trucks. He gets that farming is a commitment and he’s all in.
Andy not only puts up with the shenanigans of running a busy farm, he also supports me endlessly as a farmer. He cooks delicious healthy meals, cleans our home, and cares for our daughter. He listens to me through every heartache and tribulation be it weather, staffing, crops or equipment. He always wants to help and often saves the day. When he’s not home, he’s a Firefighter/EMT at East Jefferson Fire Rescue, helping people and saving lives. He’s no stranger to being of service.
Red Dog Farm and my life wouldn’t be what it is today without Andy. Our beautiful daughter gets to grow up on a farm because of his support. Our house looks (mostly) tidy on a regular basis. It takes a special human to be a farmer’s husband. I’m lucky to have met him and lucky that he seems to like me, farmer and all. I couldn’t do it without my farm husband!