With harvest 2018 just around the corner, Kristeena Patsche gives us a few tips and tricks to help partners survive this vital time of the year...
Your date night or dinner conversations revolve a little too much around the latest and greatest equipment (that he/she wants, but can’t afford) or what went wrong (or right) that day.
But then there’s harvest season. This brings us to a whole new level.
Dating a farmer is one thing, but dating a farmer during harvest is another.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to surviving harvest while dating a farmer...
First and foremost, DON’T DO IT.
Whether it’s a wedding, double date, or even a simple appointment, do not assume they’ll be available.
Unless it’s raining or they’re broken down, they aren’t leaving the farm.
And let’s be honest, if this were the case, they’re probably not pleasant to be around, anyways.
There is nothing worse than saying, “I don’t know where that is,” or asking for directions to a field while they are multi-tasking in the tractor or combine.
Plus, the directions usually include landmarks you’ve probably never heard of.
You know – take a left by that one farm site with the old red barn, you’ll then see a John Deere 4840 in the field (because we can all read that from the road or know what it looks like with a single glance), take another left, you’ll see a small red flag in the road ditch and it’s just beyond that on the right side of the road.
Just learn the different fields and field names before harvest rolls around. It’ll save you some stress.
I’ll just say it. Putting on clean jeans every day, combing their hair daily or making sure they are clean shaven goes out the window during harvest.
And it’s better if you just don’t comment on it. I grew up with my dad always telling me, “I won’t shave ‘til all the corn is in the bin.”
Just accept they aren’t winning any beauty contests out there.
Stay clear of comments like, “I saw so-and-so finished another field.”
Don’t do it. Save yourself. Don’t cause any unneeded stress. You’ll thank me later.
When rain is in the forecast, it’s a race against the clock.
They’ll need to know where the rain is and when it’ll be here.
Be prepared to know, but don’t ask how it’s coming. I can probably answer this for you – not fast enough.
Harvest can feel like a never-ending cycle, day in and day out, working more than what they are sleeping.
There are always things that can be done, even if they aren’t in the field.
Don’t ask when they’ll be done for the day, because they probably don’t know.
Or if they do, plan on an hour later than scheduled.
During harvest, staying fed is critical. No one wants a hungry farmer who has just worked an entire day on four hours of sleep.
If you’re making meals for the field, stick with foods that are easy to eat where half of it won’t end up on their lap.
If they’re up against the clock, they might not have the time to stop and eat, so plan for food they can eat while driving.
If they aren’t telling you the yields or how the crop is looking, there’s probably a reason for that.
My advice – don’t ask until they tell you.
They have waited all summer to see how their hard work has paid off.
Unfortunately, this time of year comes at a price. Be patient and flexible.
I’d also recommend holding off on any sarcastic comments about being “neglected” until later in the year.
Harvest is a crazy busy time of the year. Emotions are high and time is limited when you’re up against weather.
They need your support, whether it’s visiting them in the field or making a quick “on the go” meal.
Lend a hand when you can and let them know you’re proud of the work they do (while secretly counting down the days until it’s over).
Hopefully, these survival tips will help keep you (and your significant other) sane and together forever. Good luck!
For more, head to the Minnesota Farm Living website!