A word most farmers dread.
Although transplanting can be a pain by itself, several factors can make it nearly unbearable such as scorching heat, lack of workers, and in this case, wardrobe malfunctions. Unfortunately, for one of our newer workers, her first experience transplanting wasn't exactly kind to her. She learned the lessons of the field quickly one dreary afternoon. . . . . .
It was a dark Tuesday morning. I had woken up at around 5:30 am, tired and hungry. As I hurried up to get ready, I started to stress that I only had about 15 minutes to prepare, and there were absolutely no pants for me to wear. I quickly searched the room and found an old pair of jeans that were a bit big. I put them on and then realized that I also hadn't made my lunch! Feeling stressed already, I rushed downstairs without grabbing anything to hold up my slightly baggy pants. I needed to prepare my lunch with the 5 minutes I had left before heading out to work. Thankfully, my lovely room-mate had already covered it, knowing how forgetful I was and made my lunch for me. Together we ran out to the car and headed out to the farm. When we arrived, I headed towards the greenhouse to begin my daily dose of indoor transplanting of seedlings.
All was well in the greenhouse. It was a quiet and peaceful day. A few hours had passed, as the day became humid. That's when I heard those dreadful words come out of my coworker's mouth, "Field Work." Everyone began moving out of the greenhouse and to the field. I was reasonably happy to get out of that hot greenhouse, but little did I know I would be begging to go back in. As we went out into the field, we had to follow these machines around the field, utilize new tools. All while following new rules to keep the plants and ourselves safe and alive.
There are three different types of jobs that one can do while using the transplanting machine. It takes one person to drive the tractor, four to sit on the transplanter and put plants into the ground, and then there was me. My job was to walk behind the machine and make sure the plants were tucked into the dirt and planted correctly. We drove the transplanting machine out into the field and started.
The plants were doing fine as I just walked behind and checked on them, and all was going well until I bent over to fix the first unplanted plant. And that's when it began. My jeans had been just a bit too big, and as I bent over, they began to fall. Realizing this was an issue, I began lunging to fix the plants instead, hoping that would keep them from falling. But apparently, the angle I lunged at was unacceptable, because the wind started to blow my oversized t-shirt over my head, exposing my back to everyone near. Struggling to pull it back down, my bra-straps began to fall down my shoulders. As I was desperately trying to keep up with the machine, I realized that my socks had been rolling down my ankles. My rain boots were also a bit big, scraping on the back of my heel, tugging my socks off my feet. I stood back up and began playing footsie with myself, hoping to make them stay on as my pants began to fall again! It was a vicious, never-ending cycle.
After three hours of hard work and non-stop wardrobe malfunctions, I was finally done. I returned home, showered, changed, and relaxed, all while replaying my traumatic first day in the field in my mind. It didn't stop there because that night, I had nightmares of having more wardrobe malfunctions during work. To put it simply, the lesson was learned. I will never complain about transplanting in the greenhouse AGAIN! And that was only my first day of many in the field. And, life was about to get a lot tougher at the farm, and no one would be able to prepare me for that.