Sometimes we have 40 chances

We just finished planting all our crops last Friday, and I was feeling great about the accomplishment, ready to celebrate. Just as I was about to kick back, a message pinged on my phone. It was from our neighbors and friends, Dave and Sarah. Dave, knowing we had just wrapped up planting, invited us over for a visit around the campfire.

As we settled around the warm glow of the fire, another neighbor, Paul, and his family turned up. Paul wasn’t quite done planting, but he was very close. As we rearranged our chairs, the men and ladies naturally grouped up, and that’s when the real farm conversation began. We talked about our farms and shared what was new. At one point, Paul took a poll: “How fast do you drive when planting?” It’s a simple question, but the answer affects how well a planting goes, how efficiently you finish, and whether you should speed up because rain is coming.

This little example highlights how many factors go into what seems like a simple industry. Our conversation meandered through various farm-related topics until a book came up: "40 Chances" by Howard Buffett. I won’t dive into all the details, but the book's core theme has resonated deeply with us farmers: in a lifetime, a farmer gets maybe 40 chances to get it right – 40 plantings, 40 harvests, 40 opportunities to learn.

I believe this theme underscores the importance of family in farming. Although each farm and field is different, and each has its own unique soil and challenges, the knowledge passed down through generations is invaluable. We're all still learning, no matter how long we've been at it, and we need to be kind to ourselves and one another.

As the week went on, this story seemed to write itself. I found myself at the local seed supplier, discussing some weed problems I’d encountered. Feeling quite upset about things I should have done better, Al, the supplier, mentioned the book again. It was like an olive branch, easing the self-criticism I was feeling. Then, just yesterday, I was at the local Co-op having coffee when another neighbor, Doug, came in. We talked about the three inches of rain we had and how it impacted so many farms, including ours. Wouldn’t you know, the book came up again!

The point is, farming, much like life, offers only a few chances to get things right. But every day is a new opportunity to do something good, to learn, and to grow. So, be kind to yourself and focus on the next opportunity to make a positive impact in your life and others'.

With warmest wishes and gratitude,

Your Farmer Rod


Don't worry, I haven't forgotten! This week, we need our follow-up story from last week.

Last week, I asked for help naming my 4th meal food cravings. Here's the rundown on your replies:


  • Midnight Snack: Yvonne, Lynn, Terry, Chriss, Gary, Justyna, Lily, Aunt Joanne
    • Pat says it's a Midnight Snack but agrees a better name is needed
  • Bedtime Snack: Marg
  • Late Night Snack: Don
  • Bedtime Tea: Kate
  • Night-Lunch: Jordon, a fellow family farmer
  • Lunch: Marie with Newfoundland roots
  • Lupper: Bruce, my mother, and Asha (who also agrees it needs a name)
  • No Name Yet: Edward, Liz, and Jennifer agree it's a common thing but has no name

And now for the most interesting response from Blake: he suggested I inquire with the Hobbits from "The Lord of the Rings" to classify my meal questions. By my calculations Blake they would call the forth meal Luncheon. But they eat 6 times a day so??

Democratic Decision?

Democratically, I guess we have to give it to Midnight Snack. Traditionally, I think Night-Lunch or just another Lunch wins. But in the spirit of my quest, I was really wanting a name that stands on its own, and the only choice offered is Lupper. So, right or wrong, I think next time it comes up in my mind, I'll be craving some Lupper!

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