The Lazy Farmer and Spring

Reader Contribution by Sam Moore
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Since it’s April and officially spring, here are a couple of the Lazy Farmer’s musings on the subject to help you forget the lo-o-ong winter most of the country has just experienced.

From April, 22, 1939, comes this paean to greens.

When I was young my mother would in spring to keep me feelin’ good, just fill me up with sulphur and molasses, for you understand, it thins the blood and purifies and puts new brightness in your eyes. At least that’s what my mother said; it clears your liver and your head, and so I had to take the stuff, she never thought I had enough. But now I’ve got a better plan, Mirandy stews up in a pan a mess of greens, ‘most anything can be made into greens in spring, they’re mighty tasty too, and so, you ought to see the way I go for greens, they may be only weeds, but they’re just what my system needs.

The livestock knows what’s good for it, they paw around and have a fit, at fences they will make a pass, they’re crazy for a taste of grass. The springtime sunshine puts a kick in grass that’s growin’ lush and thick, the vitamins or carotin or such that Nature has put in to that there grass is just the thing to fill them full of zip in spring. Us people too need stuff like that to help rid us of winter’s fat, in fall I don’t mind pork and beans, but now all I want is greens. It beats all how them greens take holt, they make me frisky as a colt, they lubricate each joint and bone until I doubt if they’re my own; the biggest thing that springtime means, to me is fillin’ up on greens.

I can relate to the Lazy Farmer on this one, as when I was a kid we ate lots of dandelion greens in the spring. In the barnyard we had a huge supply of dandelion plants (ample fertilization, no doubt) and Mom would pick and wash the leaves when they were young and tender. Then she’d fry up some bacon nice and crisp and drain and crumble it, mix vinegar and sugar and the bacon bits into the hot bacon grease, and then pour the steaming concoction over the greens, wilting them just before putting them on the table. That was good! She’d fix young leaf lettuce from the garden the same way.

Then another from April, 8, 1939, extolling the virtues of April showers.

Of all that Nature does for man there ain’t another thing that can be equal to a rainy day; I like to lie upon the hay and listen to the patter of the raindrops on the roof above. There’s allus such a rush in spring, a feller works like ev’rything to git his seed into the soil, each day is just a round of toil. A feller gits himself tired out, no matter if he’s big and stout he gits to feel he’d like to keep himself in bed and sleep a week. There ain’t no time to sit and think, we wake before it’s light and slink out to the barn to do each chore, while work just piles up more and more, until, although we do our best, there just ain’t any time to rest.

But when it rains, why I just sit and git enjoyment out of it, the steady patter of the rain makes me forgit each ache and pain, I just stretch out upon the hay and hope that it will rain all day, or mebbe for a week or so, for when it stops I’ll have to go to work again, but for today I’ll only while the time away a-restin’, with a sense of peace, a-hopin’ rain will never cease. The grass is freshened by a shower, it grows a week’s worth in an hour, the seed that’s in the soil will sprout and little shoots come peepin’ out. Rain’s Nature’s blessing on mankind, it washes worry out of our mind, it gives us rest and when it’s o’er we’re ready for our tasks once more. Of all the things in life, I’ll say the finest is a rainy day!

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