Dear Farm Journal,
I spent the majority of my day working the ground, weeding and planting. As it is the beginning of the season, my body is still adjusting to this unique type of physical work. Last week my body was so out of alignment that I finally broke down and went to the chiropractor on Friday. After he cracked me back into a human person, we talked about physical strategies for crawling around in the dirt all day. He suggested that the best approach is to change positions often and listen to your body. During my last year and a half of farming, I have used the “deep sumo squat” almost exclusively, which has done wonders for toning my legs and glutes, but turns out to be somewhat of a nightmare on my lower back. Rufus almost always works on his knees, scooting himself forward beside the bed as he works his way down the row. Today I incorporated what I call “the flying lead change”. This is one knee up, one knee down, very similar to the Roman Catholic genuflect. Once one side of the body tires or it is time to move along down the row, you switch legs. This seemed to be relatively comfortable and a nice way to bring variety into my stance. However, by the end of the day, all my legs could do was the well worn “deep sumo squat”. I would not even notice that I regressed into this position until I was finished weeding a row. After about seven hours negotiating my body close to the earth, my quad muscles were trembling. I came into the farmhouse, made a hearty dinner of spaghetti and cauliflower bake, washed it down with a few beers and promptly took my tired loins to bed. It was a rare night of sound sleep, and I treasured every minute of it. When I woke up, I realized that I had not even washed the dirt off my feet and there was a chicken feather stuck to my heel. Needless to say, I was disgusted with myself.