Harvest season is upon us. You can drive down a rural highway and see dozens of semis burning up the road, grain carts waiting patiently in the end rows and combines off in the distance stirring up a cloud of dust. For many, it’s a favorite time of year.
To the general public this season equates a brief but sincere infatuation with Pumpkin Spiced Lattes – or, pumpkin flavored anything, bonfires, tailgating, Halloween and an affinity for fall fashion.
To farmers the fall season means beeswings, buddy seat conversations, suppers on the tailgate, falling asleep to the hum of the grain dryer and flannel.
Like many things in life, farmers just see the fall season differently. For instance…
Pumpkin Spice What-te?
Consumers are strangely obsessed with pumpkin flavored anything during the last three months of the year. Pumpkin Spice Lattes (an over priced Starbuck’s coffee drink with a lot of nutmeg and whipped cream) began the trend, filling cup after cup with a jolt of caffeine that consumers associate with fall. People wait in seemingly endless lines for these drinks! That pumpkin spice must do something to the brain that makes consumers crave it, because following the pumpkin spice latte came pumpkin flavored Cheerios, Triscuits, Blizzards, Peeps, ice-cream, marshmallows, bagels and Jello. I’m exhausted and it’s only October 7.
Farmers – on the other hand – are not strangely obsessed with pumpkin spice anything. What drink do they keep close during harvest season? Mt. Dew. Buckets of it.
What food do they crave while sitting hours in a combine? Their wife’s lasagna. With garlic cheese bread.
Also, farmers tend to be set in their ways. So if any marketing folks from David are reading this, I wouldn’t even think about adding pumpkin flavored sunflower seeds to your product portfolio.
Don’t. Mess. With. The. Sunflower. Seeds.
Consumers see a clear Saturday night forecast and are thrilled it’s dry enough to finally throw some firewood together, call up friends and gorge themselves on s’mores. They sit and talk about life, the clear autumn sky and how bright the stars seem.
Farmers – on the other hand – only equate dry autumn weather with perfect conditions to get 300 more acres harvested before tomorrow’s church service. They don’t associate a chill in the air with a bonfire. They associate it with the goal of getting a field done before the rain moves in. As for the clear sky full of October stars? Well they’re not able to enjoy them until every piece of machinery is shut down and all lights are out; cab controls and lights have a funny way of dimming even the brightest stars for farmers.
This season fashion magazines are saturated with Hunter boots, wool socks, denim, thermal vests, and plaid. You can walk into any department store – or search any Pinterest board – and find the aforementioned on rack after rack and mannequin after mannequin.
Farmers – on the other hand – only have to look as far as their dresser for every single item that Vogue magazine deems “trend-worthy”.
Farmers call them Muck boots and they’re a lot warmer and more functional.
Farmers never thought of them as fashionable, they just keep their feet warm in cold weather and are less likely to fall down inside their boot.
Farmers have kept every pair of jeans they’ve bought (or their spouses have bought) in the last 15 years. They’ve been patched, mended and stitched and are just getting broken in.
Been there. Done that. Farmers have approximately 12 and each has a different seed corn brand or implement logo on the chest. Thermal vests keep their core warm and arms free.
Farmers have never known a day without plaid in it. It’s called flannel. Period.
With plenty of Mt. Dew.