I watch too much TV. Situation comedies mostly. Golf with my sweetheart. The other evening we were watching “The Office” a show I usually find excruciating painful to watch. But we were both pretty brain-dead and the only other choice was MARCH MADNESS!!!! So we watched the less painful choice.
At one point a character referred to celery farming. At which point they cut away to Dwight Schrute, the sugar beet farmer/paper salesman, and he said, “Those who can’t farm, farm celery.” I wrote it down because it rang so totally false. Now I know that Dwight is a pompous ass who misspeaks, lies and generally doesn’t know what he is talking about but this just took the cake. Celery is difficult to grow. At least it is around here. My friends Polly and Prentiss over at Village Farm grow it (it is kind of a pet project of Prentiss’) and I am always impressed. I don’t know of anyone else who even tries.
All of this led me to think about the fact (as far as I know) that Dwight is the only farmer on a major network show. Now I understand that he is supposedly successful on his beet farm but isn’t there also something about his not-too-bright brother,Mose, actually running the farm? And even Dwight has to have an “off farm” job selling paper. I also vaguely remember an episode where they took a field trip to the farm and everyone was miserable the whole time. A far cry from the stories of idyllic farm life I heard in my childhood. Stories where everyone was eager to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm. The kind of stories that lead the Judge on “Green Acres” to pitch life in the Big Apple for life down on the farm. In spite of his wife’s dismay. The farm life that lead John Denver to write “Life on the farm is kind of laid back, ain’t much an old country boy like me can’t hack.”
I think that the warped viewpoint of the 98% of Americans who don’t farm is becoming even more warped. Especially if they think celery is easy to grow. It reminds me of a non-farmer telling me that my “No Farms, No Food” bumper sticker just did not resonate with her. What part of NO FOOD don’t you get? Has society become so disconnected from whence their food comes that they think all farmers are Dwight Schrute? Egad!!!!