Spring is a favorite time of year on the farm. The air is fresh, brave flowers start to bud, and every once in a while the rain breaks into beautiful golden sunlight. Maybe, if you’re lucky, your day will be blessed with a rainbow! My Dad (the Farmer) says “You get a fresh start every spring to do just the best you could possibly do.” It’s the time of year to learn from what didn’t go so perfectly last year and go into the new crop year thinking “we’re going to do everything just perfect this year.” Every day the farmers are watching for new leaves on the trees, a good signal to start seeding grass. Waiting for spring to give her cue, waiting for just the right moment, because the rest of the year will depend on this season.
One of the cues my family watches for has been turned into a friendly competition! Our Pake began it with us kids when we used to ride around with him in the old farm truck. Whoever spots the first sparrow of spring, wins, simple as that. As young kids we would see a bird (sparrow or not) and go running to Pake or Dad with the news. Soon we were taught to tell the difference between a sparrow and a robin, and the race was on! With Pake we may have gotten a Kit Kat, but now we just do it for the bragging rights. Katherine (my little sister) has proudly won the past three years, though I believe she lost to one of my brothers this year.
97% of farms in the US are family owned and operated, and I bet many others have stories just like this one! Families who work alongside each other, but also take the time to appreciate a sparrow in the spring. A new season full of life, a fresh start, and another chance to get everything just right.