Friday, July 10, 2009

Tales from the Rainmaker (the intern blog by Julie House)

Recently, I was mocked at Thompson Ranch, by someone trying to make conversation about how, she was very happy that she was not moving pipe. Yet this is one of my favorite jobs and I am not sure why, except for that it keeps my imagination working. I imagine being in a Strong Man competition hiking uphill carrying 2 times 30 feet of aluminum pipe, trying to beat out the competition. Or the fact that I just prefer to do the most difficult moves first, saving the easiest for last. Or the fact that you never know what will happen as metal pieces fly into the air on towers of water.
Mostly, I try to realize that this, one of the simplest yet most difficult jobs we do often goes wrong, and what how would I solve the problems if no one was out their with me, as we move several cubic inches of water being forced by gravity in order to come out of a sprinkler head at many gallons per minute.
Recently, I began thinking about what happened 100 years ago before, aluminum pipe and irrigation districts. One of the wonders of agriculture is that it has thousands of years of history prior to today, of people working with nature to harvest each year enough food to make it into the next. And yet today, we try to manipulate nature to give us tomatoes in January and Lambs in July. Trying to explain to customers how our lambs that were born in the spring are not fat enough is just not what the typical American can comprehend.
We continue to try our best to keep the ground moist in the region that we live all summer long. I think that finally we have taught some people that tomatoes don’t grow naturally in the cold. Soon they might be able to understand the seasons, as people used to in the past, and we will start to crave the shanks stewing on the stovetop, but we know that it is too hot outside to braise, yet soon enough it will be cool again and the rain will make itself.

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