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  • Running a Farm is Hard Work

    I am no farmer, far from it. But I live among farms here in the Garden State so I see how hard they work every day in my travels around the state.

    Right now its tomato time in my area. Just 1/10 of a mile from my house is over 350 acres of tomatoes, divided into thirds and planted about 3 weeks apart. Last week they started harvesting the first section, about 140 acres. They would still be out there when I come by on my way home at 1730, and sometimes working past dark. But the first section is picked clean now, and they wait for the next batch to ripen. Last night we had a tremendous storm, with heavy downpours and high winds. This morning on my way by I noticed that many of the tomato plants are broken down from the wind, and much of the fruit has been ripped from the plant and laying on the muddy ground. It is still too green to be of much use I think, but I don't know. It will be a shame if after all the work they put into those fields if they lose 2/3 of it to the storm.

    I leave for work most mornings about 0450 and I drive right by this field. They are out there already with portable light towers lighting up the field, and a line of 45 foot trailers to load the tomatoes into to ship off to the local canning factories or to Campbell's Soup in Camden, NJ.

    Years ago (1970s and earlier) they planted many times more tomatoes in my county than today. There were three catsup plants in this one county alone, and they only took about 1/10 of the tomato harvest, the rest going to soup, canned in various ways, and to the produce aisle as Jersey tomatoes are among the best eating tomatoes there are. I remember driving through the city where the factories were and you would see tractor trailer trucks lined up in the street waiting to dump their loads of tomatoes. You could smell tomatoes everywhere within 10 blocks of the factories, and loose tomatoes that had fallen off the trucks could be found in the gutter at evey intersection where the trucks would turn a corner.

    The Salem County, NJ courthouse (second oldest county courthouse still in use today in the USA) is also the site of the legend of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proving the edibility of the tomato. Before 1820, Americans often assumed tomatoes were poisonous. In 1820, Colonel Johnson, according to legend, stood upon the courthouse steps (near the Salem Oak tree) and ate tomatoes in front of a large amazed crowd assembled to watch him do so.


    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to BHD and all farmers everywhere for all the hard work they do. It s gamble whether the work will pay off, but when they win we all win 'cause we get to share in their harvest. I see some of the hard work they do every day, many depending on where they live do not.

    Today, believe it or not, most tomatoes come from China. California accounts for about 90% of US production, and NJ trails far behind today, having once held the lead for years before California was even thought of and China was centuries from peeking out from behind the Great Wall and joining the World.

    Today, tomatoes, corn, soybean, and may other crops are still grown here. Many people think of NJ today as being nothing more than an extension of NYC or Philly or of the casinos in Atlantic City, but its not all like that, we still have about half the state under plow I think, and I hope that never changes.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 08-22-2009, 01:03 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

    Yeah, china is doing a bang up job of providing us with all our needs, consumer good and loans to our government as well. Instead of the clunkers for cash being dismantled and the parts recycled right here, I beleive they were crushed and sent to china. Many more of us are becoming aware and growing angry with government waste, unfortunately many more Americans are still fast asleep. China and the rest of the world gladly accept our American dollars in exchange for good we used to make ourselves. In my opinion there will be no recovery until we once again become a nation of growth, self sufficience and providers to the rest of the world. We need a drastic turn a round.

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    • #3
      Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

      Farms are awesome thought, To bad most "townships" don't allow you to have livestock any more
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      • #4
        Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

        If i didn't spend all my time on the farm ,I would make more money,,
        But its the only thing i care about..

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        • #5
          Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

          I was shocked to the labors here working on the farm. People were actually running deliviering the crops to the truck. Definently a tough job for sure.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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          • #6
            Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

            Farming is a lot of hrs and hard work, especially during a harvest time,

            but succeeding at any business is challenge,
            a being self employed is usually followed my many, many, hours and headaches regardless of the arena of work, I do not know of a self employed business person who does not work hard if there succeeding. (and many times when it is said and done making less than when they were on wages, at lest the first number of years).

            you guys attempt to explain it nearly ever time some one thinks they can buy a K380/400 and clean out roots, because that plumber is ripping me off because I once saw where I could rent a machine for $30 from the "Rent all" place. and it only took you 30 Min's.

            I applaud the trades people as well there a hard working bunch as well,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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            • #7
              Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

              I agree every business faces uncertainty and has risk. But to me to have your whole summers work thrashed into nothing overnight and there is nothing you can do about it, and then to go back and do it all over again knowing that you face the same high risks year after year is what makes the dedication of farmers just a bit more than that of the average businessman.

              Without them none of us would have the time to put into out own pursuits, we'd be busy tilling the land trying to feed our families with little time to take on other tasks.

              I certainly don't mean to imply that others don't work hard. I just got a little more appreciation for all they do this morning when I saw the damage to the tomato crop after having them tend to them this Summer. And since many don't get to know what you go through every day, I was just passing on my observations and thanks.
              Last edited by Bob D.; 08-22-2009, 11:34 PM.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

                I did a large photo-op/video for a local farmer's market that I set out seating for this week and next.

                The colors are amazing.


                The work from field to sale is pretty tough, given the pricing of what it costs to produce those fruits and vegetables.


                There's a growing niche for this in my area because they feel that something home grown has a better value than something store bought, shipped from across the world.

                All I grow is weeds at my place so I don't think I'd offer much in a booth. The local high school runs the program through the FFA (I was in that association two years, got the greenhand degree the first year) and supports a good cause.

                Runs till the end of november. I'd post pics but this thread isn't the place for it.
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                • #9
                  Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work



                  http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27968 (see this thread for more about the cart above)
                  Last edited by Bob D.; 09-08-2009, 10:27 PM.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

                    I just have what would call a hobby farm, have 25 head of registered charolaise cows and put up close to 200 acres of hay twice a year, plant a 1/2 acre garden, keep bees, and still find time to have a small fire sprinkler company.

                    Keeps me on the go for sure.

                    G3

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

                      Where I come from military service is compulsory for all males (give or take a disability or two). The prospect of going to the army is dreaded by most, and especially when the country was still under a communist regime the 2 years in the army was pretty much hell. So much in fact that many went to universities for the sole reason of being able to serve only one year after graduation - that's what undergraduates had to serve.

                      A cousin of mine was born and brought up on a farm. In 1970's he was called and had to go to the army. In his first letter to his mom (she let me read it) he wrote words to this effect:

                      Mom,

                      life here in the barracks is easy and it feels like vacation. It looks like I will get plenty of rest over the next two years. There is certainly no work in the field so I can sleep in till 5.30 am. and go to bed as early a 10pm.
                      In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

                        as difficult as the weather and natural disasters for the crops are,

                        I think the pricing and the futures and trading markets, is one of the large frustration of farming,

                        I raise small grains and cattle, IN last of June or first of July the price for wheat was about $6.80 a bushel, (MY PRICES) they had all the crop reports and bushels estimates and the crop was well under way of harvest, (mid Kansas) at that time, by the time we harvested the wheat in our area, the price had dropped close to 2 two dollars, the price now is less than $3.66 a bushel, and it has been dropping 5 to 10 cents a day here for the last few weeks, and there is NO news to give the hope of any up swing any time soon, as one can see (yes there have been a few times of a little increase) but for the last 35 years the price has been flat, How do they expect the farmer to keep going when the price for there produce has not increased in 35 years,
                        the price of a truck has gone up 10 times, the price of nearly input's has gone up 10+ times, yet the price they set for the price of grains has not gone up any for 35 years,
                        same in nearly all grains,

                        we were getting better prices pre bushel back in the early 1970's

                        and the thing is You plant it, grow it, harvest it, and in the last two weeks before harvest it looses 1/3 of it value, and soon looses 1/2 of it value,
                        (it would be similar, if you bid on a job, bought the materials and did the work and the powers that be come to the conclusion that your job is only worth 50% of what you bid or was told you would get for the job when you started it. and there is not any thing you can do about it.

                        yes the weather is a challenge but it is mother nature and can be a blessing or a disappointment, but prices is some one else screwing you,



                        http://www.chartsrus.com/chart1.php?...p?ticker=FUTKW
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by BHD; 09-08-2009, 11:06 AM.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Running a Farm is Hard Work

                          same with cattle around here same prices at the auction barn that they were bringing back in the '80s.

                          Although beef at the store has gone up, and fertilizer has gone up, fuel has gone up, seed has gone up, tractors, parts and equipment has gone up, we are still loosing money.

                          Sad, really sad.

                          G3

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Grain Prices

                            Just drove by Growmark this afternoon and the price for wheat on the board there was $3.50, down $0.04 from last Thursday.



                            9/23/09 Correction to above: That was Corn which was$3.50, the wheat was $2.42, and they both have dropped since then.

                            Here's a couple shots of the neighborhood:
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Bob D.; 09-22-2009, 10:20 PM. Reason: added correction
                            ---------------
                            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                            ---------
                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                            ---------
                            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                            Comment

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