I was looking around my Facebook feed the other day and noticed a post by a friend. She had posted Something Awful and was asking folks to sign a petition to help make the Something Awful stop.
These kinds of posts bother me tremendously for two reasons: 1) I cannot stand to see intensely important, awful, and sometimes criminal things pop up when I don’t expect it over my morning coffee, and 2) while I completely see the need to raise awareness about a whole host of issues, I don’t necessarily agree that random Facebook posts are the appropriate forum.
In this spirit, about a minute after the original post went up, one of my friend’s friends responded in the comment field, “Done!”
And this bothered me as well.
It occurred to me that we have become a society, largely through the fault/assistance of social media, that interacts with the world at large by skirting the periphery. This woman read the story (or watched the video, or got the gist of it by scanning the article, etc.) and then took a moment to click some links and fill in some fields to cast her vote against (or perhaps for legislation banning) whatever the Something Awful happened to be.
And then she went on with her life, presumably feeling that she had Done! something that contributed in a meaningful way to the problems of the day.
And maybe she had.
But, I have to say that I’m not sold. I find it difficult to believe that clicking a link on the computer from your kitchen table will stop Something Awful from happening. I truly hope that I am wrong.
But this is not what this post is about.
This post is about what the woman who wrote “Done!” made me realize about my life and my responsibilities lately.
These days have been considerably busier than before (for the record, before was plenty busy). Now, in addition to the farm, we are into year ten of owning a reasonably popular Brooklyn restaurant, year 14 of keeping two children alive, and year one of opening and running a cheese and specialty foods shop in Chatham, New York.
Because getting a new venture up and running is a full-time job on its own, all the other stuff seems to take a back seat. The problem is that there isn’t much on a farm of any size that can take a back seat to anything because a farm is comprised totally of living things.
Since we aren’t (completely) horrible humans, all of our animals remain well-cared for, always receiving plenty of food and water and treats and love. The gardens, however, have received the lion’s share of the neglect we have to offer. This is where the “something’s gotta give” seems to have given.
The other day, we finally committed to, roughly, six straight hours of weeding.
On an organic farm, weeds are king. Unless you have A LOT of spare time or a staff of full-time weeders at your disposal, weeds will be a large part of your life.
If you actually manage to find the time to attend to it, however, there is something really gratifying about getting down in the dirt and dealing with them.
We managed to get through the carrots, radishes, brussels sprouts, half the kale, the majority of the delicata squash, and the broccoli.
When I started the broccoli, it was a challenge to determine where the broccoli rows even were.
The weeds had fairly taken over and so I hunkered down to the hugely daunting task, pulling weeds that were more abundant and certainly larger than the edible plants themselves.
But, when the job was complete, the pigs had quite the feast and it really did seem like something had been accomplished. These plants now stood a chance. A difference had most certainly been made.
All this, without the push of a button.