Thursday, May 6, 2010
Farm life and feminism
Pitchforks, dirt, weed-whackers, bugs, speed, gravel, Schlitz, tractors.
Shade, flowers, craft time, herbs, tea, conversation, bouquets, care.
Currently on the farm, I am the only full-time female intern (although this will change in just a few days). The other women on the farm are the wife of the farmer and a part-time intern who focuses primarily on the flowers. The majority of the work that has needed to be done thus far on the farm as been super labor intensive - planting, harvesting, mulching, weeding, repeat repeat repeat. It's generally me and the boys when these things are taking place and I feel fine about it. I pull my weight and can work just as fast as they can.
But, from time to time, the women of the farm pull me over to "their" side of things and have me work in the shaded, cooler flower garden. Lately, I've been helping to cut and arrange flowers in bouquets and even paint tin cans to put flowers in for sale at market. I came to work on a farm to learn how to grow vegetables, so part of me feels guilty when I partake in these other tasks. I mean, really - do I need to learn how to paint tin cans? Also, I feel like the guys on the farm secretly resent me when I leave them out in the sweltering field to go play with flowers in the cool kitchen.
Seriously though - when it's 95 degrees outside, I would much rather help arrange flowers than go plant leeks or set up trellises for tomatoes. And, I have driven the tractor, but I'd much rather use a wheelbarrow.
I guess it's okay to be one of the guys and a lady at the same time... right? Right.
End rambling train of thought.