This weekend over on Instagram Stories, I talked a little about “grit” and was surprised by the number of growers that reached out in appreciation for what I was saying. By grit, I mean the stuff no one wants to see or the stuff that takes away the magic and romanticism of farming. I listened to a flower farmer at a conference this past fall talk about how you shouldn’t show any grit or talk about how hard farming is because it makes people lose interest very quickly.
While I agree there are some things we shouldn’t show, like Chris and I arguing, unwanted rodents that show up, crotch sweat, or ugly crying. But I really believe there are some “good gritty” things we should show. Like Lincoln wearing pajama pants in 75 degree weather, the look of frustration on Chris’s face as he figures out how to operate our new BCS tractor, or me explaining how tired I am from planting 1/10 of an acre of perennials on my hands and knees.
I feel like good grit translates to “look at how our life is honestly” and I feel like this is something consumers need to know.
This all stemmed from a wedding inquiry we got a few months ago that said, “I figured the cost would be even less with you since you grow your own flowers!” I truly believe this inquiry wasn’t coming from a hurtful place, I think she just didn’t understand the backbreaking, hard-ass work it takes to grow things. And that really good things don’t come from a push of a button. They come from long days, sweat, blood, tears, laughter, and maybe a little bit of luck.
So why don’t we as farmers talk more about, “good grit”. I think we don’t talk about it because we don’t want to seem ungrateful, whiney, or that we don’t appreciate or deserve what we’re doing. Nor do we want to be seen as humble bragging i.e. “I just plowed this field by hand. #MichelleObamaArms”
But as my homegirl, Brene Brown said in her book Rising Strong,“I’m a firm believer that complaining is okay as long as we piss and moan with a little perspective.”
Be simple and be honest. It’s okay to have a moment where we share that we’re frustrated and it’s also okay to have a moment where we’re really proud of ourselves. It’s all about balance. Like yesterday we worked ALL STINKING DAY getting one field prepped and then I was hell-bent on having a milkshake with a greasy burger and onion rings. So even though we’re growing super nutritious foods…I didn’t want it, I just wanted that artery-clogging food in my mouth.
Or like when I took the following photos of Lincoln, I mumbled “goddamnit” a little too audibly because he wasn’t listening. Dropping swear words in front of my three year old is never a bright spot on the parenting journey, but I also know I’m not alone here.
I know our readers want to know about our honest moments, because they have them too. No one feels connected to someone who seems perfect online. We have found that people connect better when you really hone in on the fact that we’re all just floating around on this blue marble trying to figure out this crazy thing we call life. Grit on, friends.