Ten hour days started this week, a fact I knew before signing up for the internship, and yet I applied anyways. This is unprecedented in my long and varied work history because I typically balk at anything over 4o hrs, especially without overtime pay. I am not confessing to you that I have no work ethic, but rather nothing I have done in the past could hold my attention for more than 8hrs a day. I would either be bored or super stressed out and couldn't wait to punch out at 5 o'clock. So why are things different this time around? That is a good question.
Because I badly wanted to learn about, and experience, sustainable farming in action there are certain realities that I confronted before I started working. The season dictates your hours. You don't just get to put in an 8 hr day, in fact 10 hrs may seem fairly lenient, you take advantage of as much daylight as you possibly can. When I picked tomatoes in Australia I worked 12hours a day, six days a week. Farming, which is romanticized to the extreme, is hard work. It is monotonous, and you labor in all weather conditions, you are bent over, and crouching and crawling on your hands and knees. When the day is over you eat and enjoy the 3.5 hours you have until bed time.
But that is why I am doing this internship, to have the authentic experience. I don't want to play farmer for a day. To be a part of the hard-working-farmers-club you need dirt under your nails, ripped cuticles, uneven tan lines, the bedtime of a 12 year old, and a wicked sense of humor. I think I may be ready to join the club.