By Alysa Leier
It was Saturday, at Walmart. There’s almost NOTHING I despise more than going to Walmart on a Saturday, except maybe going to Menards on a Saturday. But it had to be done.
You see, it’s spring planting, and coupled with calving season, my husband and dad are out of the house a lot. We’re talking leaving the house at 7:00 a.m. and not getting home until after 11:00 p.m. That’s for my husband. It’s often longer days for my dad since he lives at the farm. And this is just the beginning, as the days will get even longer later in the year.
We often tend to focus on what our kids eat, but we forget our beloved farmers and ranchers must eat too. I’ve basically lost the battle on getting my husband and dad to eat normal meals during the day. They will make sure the cows get fed routinely, but they think it’s ok if they go an entire day with only a quick sandwich and several sodas.
So, in my cart during that dreadful Saturday shopping trip was a microwave (in hopes they will take the time to re-heat home-cooked meals), food and condiments, paper plates, bowls, Mountain Dew (this is like coffee for my husband), and Jolly Ranchers (no pun intended). It was time to stock-up the shop and make sure there were some quick meal and snack choices for my husband and dad to eat.
I often hear people say their days revolve around their meals. Meals can mean family time, but during this time of the year for farmers, we don’t get family meals unless it’s raining. Farmers won’t stop until the crop is in the ground, except to sleep. This is the time of the year when slow-cooker, portable grills and eat-whenever-you-can meals are the only meals these guys are going to eat.
This time of year, I’m also in a tractor, my mom works full-time off the farm and the kids are in school 35 miles away from the farm. There is no one who’s going to take the time out of the tractor to make a sit-down meal during spring planting. If anyone of us did, we would just end up reheating it later. Sometimes you simply eat what you can, when you can — even if you are a food producer.