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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2011-08-26 15:37:10
Subject: Employee Dedication

We are planting several acres of the farm with red beans. It is one of the crops that requires at least some manual labor. So unlike corn, which can be raised completely by machine/tractor, beans utilize the labor we have without putting us at a huge price disadvantage due to our lack of tractor. It's the reason a 100 lb. sack of beans goes for $100 while the same amount of corn goes for about $15. Besides, everybody here likes beans.

"More beans, Mr. Taggart?"

"I'd say you've had enough."

(sorry, Blazing Saddles interlude above for all my geek friends)

So the boys spend a couple hours daily cleaning fields in preparation for planting. The workers clean, plant and fertilize.

Where this gets interesting and requires dedication is the fertilizing. I've written before about Enrique, the employee we've had the longest (somewhere around four years, need to buy him a plaque or something next year). Enrique has no problem getting dirty. Yesterday I went out to pay him and the rest of the workers only to find that his hands were full of fertilizer as he manually applied fertilizer to each bean bean planted. Of course most of you know that the fertilizer of choice here is "gallinaza" AKA "chicken poo". Yessir, Enrique grabs himself a handful and drops it on each planted bean.

Incidentally, out here on the farm we don't typically use the word "poo" at the end of chicken, especially when we're mad or we're talking about some goomer that stole a weed wacker or environmentalist wacko prohibits us from cutting trees in order to plant more beans. No, in that case we go a little more extreme on the word.

"That's chicken manure!"

We are trying to liquidate the non-productive areas of the farm, such as the genetically selected, dumbed-down, ham heavy hogs that would become extinct in the wild within a generation. Like the chickens that are raised in factory farms throughout the world, bred specifically for more and larger eggs, these hogs eat their young when given the chance. I was convinced to change over to them when pork buyers told me they would pay more per pound if we had this breed. Trouble is, they are utterly helpless and require constant maintenance. We don't have the resources to dedicate to these DNA mutants and refuse to perpetuate a species that can't survive on its own. It's the same reason I am holding out for "indio chickens" (the multi-colored, sometimes ugly, sometimes pretty ones). Indio chickens and Indio pigs can both survive without us if necessary; and they are a bit healthier and tastier, IMO.

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