Last month we got to travel back to the mid-west, where most of our immediate family lives. It was a treat to be there as fall was beginning to show signs of its beautiful arrival: the leaves starting to yellow and redden, golden fields, a little crispness in the air. While we’re spoiled in the good weather department here in Los Angeles, we do miss out on the glory of changing seasons, so it was nice to experience a taste of autumn’s arrival.
Funnily enough, for growing up surrounded by large farms and the ebb and flow of planting and harvest seasons, neither of our families are actually farmers. But there is something enchanting about the rows of green sprouts in early summer, the rich green of the tall corn and stubby soybean plants swaying in the humid breeze around the 4th of July, and the golden splendor of fields ripe for harvest.
For not growing up on farms, we did more than our fair share of time spent working on farm equipment. Shortly after we were married, Jonathan and I spent several months testing equipment on combine harvesters all over the world. I wrote about that crazy story in Season of Sojourning!
Anyway, since our visit was too early for actual harvesting, unfortunately Eddie didn’t get a chance for his first ride on a combine, but we did get to visit my uncle’s farm and at least see one up close and sit in it.
Shout out to farmers for some serious STEM work on a day-to-day basis! Everything from running numbers and calculating timing, fertilizer, yield and probably a million other things, to hands-on engineering work with the large machines needed for running an efficient farm, to agronomy and animal science. These men and women and families work so hard to feed us!
Farms are pretty much science labs! Here’s a pretty amazing video and article about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learned through agriculture.
Every kid should visit a farm. If nothing else than just to put a little reality to the cute animal noise games we play, cartoon farm books we read, and songs like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”. Something about Eddie’s comment about how the cows smelled just made me smile; he’s a city-kid if there ever was one! Somehow it changes one’s view of a “moo’-cow. It’s real, and experiential. Sticks with you. Really, you’ll have to wash those clothes to get the stink out!