Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strawberry Picking

It's my birthday, and I've made a bit of a tradition (this is the third year) of going out on the morning of my birthday to Russ and Trese Willenbring's farm in Cold Spring and picking strawberries. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and dewy after early morning storms, and it will be very hot later today. Well, I can't believe I didn't take my camera with me, but here's a photo of the bounty...

The Willenbrings are "truck farmers," a term I learned only after moving here. It describes farmers who sell their goods from their trucks-- at farmer's markets, farm stands and the like. Russ and Trese's produce is small scale as farming goes, and varied, and all organically grown. So it's good they have nine children to do the weeding.

I was out on a row with two men in their 80s who didn't know each other but soon enough found connections. "You know Bookie?"
"Bookie? Yeah, sure. He and I used to golf together."
"He's my brother-in-law after I married again."
"Gloria is your wife's sister?"
"Yup, that's right."
"Good people."

Later they talked about slowing down in work, one a barber who only works weekends now. He said, "I went to the doctor for my physical last week and he just can't find anything wrong with me. I don't take any pills at all, nothing, so I really can't complain. Life is good."

They talk about how difficult it must be to have a big family. "We had six, and I can't imagine raising the nine they have out here, with the prices going up and up."
"We had six, too. Plus kids these days just want more and more stuff; there's no end to it."
"They never lived in a time where you went without. They don't know what it's like."

When Russ came down the row to check on how we're doing, the three of them started telling farmer jokes. A few were too long and complicated, but then there was this one. I have to admit I don't really get it.

"One guy asks the other what he does for a living, and he says, 'I'm a farmer.'
'Well, I'm a farmer, too,' the other guy says. 'What kind of machinery do you have at your place?'
'We've got all International Harvester out there. What do you have?'
'Oh, we've got all John Deere. Except my wife. She's a Case.'"

They laughed at that one, all right!


Lisav said...

Yeah, I don't get it either, except I still laughed. Now I'll just get to go Google it and see if it's any funnier. "Case+Farm+equipment?"

Julie said...

Susan, you have got to have a column in the paper. You could be the next Erma Bombeck!

Susan Sink said...

Thanks, Julie! Because really, this blog doesn't have the advantage of being very humorous!

Anonymous said...

Susan, if you are the contributor to a recent Santa Monica Review in the form of a nifty essay about a hot tub, do contact the editor with your new mailing address as your copy came back. Nice blog. Thanks!

Eric and Constance said...

I get the joke! They are referring to the "Case International" brand--it's another company that specialized in farming equipment...I don't know if they are still in business.

Susan Sink said...

I KNOW it's a kind of machinery. You mean it's just not a funny joke?