The Farmer has been looking for a cultivator that will really, really do the job. There are as many different styles of cultivators as there are flavors of Hudsonville ice cream. And they're all a bit different. Which one would work the best for us? Today The Farmer called our soil consultant, who is a seasoned farmer with roots in organic farming. Joe was able to tell The Farmer exactly what kind of cultivator we should be looking for. Gave him four names to look for, and pros and cons for each. And then proceeded to tell him how best to use each kind, down to how fast to drive through the field and what should be happening as he's cultivating.
While The Farmer was telling me all this at suppertime, I just sat there thinking. Finally I said, "Who will know enough about cultivating to teach others once people like Joe are gone?"
I just read a headline today that "50 is the new 70" in the workforce. In other words, 50-year-olds, don't let the door hit your backside on the way out. We can handle it from here, thank you very much.
Now granted, my kids can run circles around me in techie-land. They can do in their sleep what I struggle with for half a day with a cell phone, a website, or a digital photo. But is that all there is? Do 50 year olds and 60 year olds and, for pete's sake, 90 year olds have nothing of value to impart? Nothing?
Back to farming. Very few farmers cultivate anymore. They all spray for weeds. Much easier. Instant gratification. But cultivating--cultivating is a dance, an art. And it uses equipment that is becoming increasingly obsolete. Who will teach us the dance steps, the way to hold the brush, how to read the music? Who will help us determine the proper equipment needed? Who will pass on this knowledge when the seasoned ones are gone?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this--and whether you see this same type of thing happening in your corner of the world.