Monday, March 30, 2009

Farming Tools and the Workshop & Dad

One part of farming I never thought about when I used to think about what farmers do is the workshop where machines are fixed, invented & built, or other structures and or equipment are made. It is amazing how important handyman skills are in the farming life. We have to fix our tillers, tractors, and mowers. We have to build boxes, screens, sorters, strippers, storage boxes, and market containers. It's a large part of farm work.

My father died in January and I've spend about two months sitting with him and then planning his Memorial Service for all the people who loved him. This has been a very sad time, and yet joyous due to celebrating his life, learning more about it, and getting closer to my brother and sister. Dad was an excellent scientist and administrator, and he was an excellent craftsman and had a huge workshop that he used constantly. He was very creative and developed all these really cool things to use at his place and his lab. He was known in his field for building a box that helped model a molecule in which he used wood and glass to do what fancy modeling computers do now. He built a catamaran barge to use in the little harbor he lived on. He made me a cheese press when I had goats and was making cheese.

So, now we are trying to figure out what to do with his shop. Surprisingly, each one of us three has a degree of handyman abilities. My brother is building his son a treehouse, my sister rebuilds pianos as well as does things for her farm, and I build what I can for our lavender farm. I think Dad would be proud of us, and pleased that we value what contains so much of his sweat worked into every tool handle and piece of equipment. Each of us would like to have bits and pieces of the shop, so we'll divide it up and give family friends the rest. It's like little bits of Dad will be dispersed throughout the country to continue his good work.

Thanks, Dad.