Recently, a new friend told me that there is no culture like agriculture.  As the Beekeeper’s Wife and Farmer’s Daughter’s daughter, I’m proud to say I laughed and agreed wholeheartedly.

Whether you’re the beef farmer elbows deep into your cows, helping pull their calves, the wheat farmer praying for gusting, high winds to dry out your grain, or the beekeeper instructing your truck driver to be sure to stop and water the 30 million bees on the back of the flatbed semi on the way to California, those of us in agriculture do and say things on a regular basis that might give the rest of the country a pause.  And of course, we work insanely long hours and go months at a time between paychecks – sometimes years, if there’s a crop failure.  Like a trial lawyer examining a witness, anyone in agriculture has got to be ready and willing to roll with the punches, to come up with a quick fix for a problem and also to accept that there’s nothing left to be done.  The culture of agriculture is not for the faint of heart.

But yesterday, my heart was lightened.  Yesterday, The Truck came – that wonderful semi that signals the end of honey extracting and the beginning of our fiscal year.  Yesterday, we loaded 60 barrels of the best honey you’ve never tasted into The Truck, each filled with nearly 700 pounds of honey.  And the friendly truck driver took those 42,000 pounds of honey off to the honey packer we sold them to.  Au revoir, la miel!  Sweet travels!

In return, the honey packer will send us a check.  Ah, a check.  It’s been a while since we had one of those.  Money ain’t everything, but it sure does take care of organic gummy bears, new warehouses, and more types of insurance than should be necessary.

Here, Honeydew uses the forklift’s barrel attachment to hoist each barrel up and into the back of the semi.  One day, we hope to have  a loading dock on the back of our warehouse for this task.  But it will take a few more checks before we get to that point!

Here, Brother Dear and the friendly truck driver run the barrels from the back of the truck to the front of the truck.  Friendly truck driver shared quite a story with us today – this past summer, his daughter’s boyfriend was arrested for murder on the same day that his son won the 48 MILLION dollar Powerball!  The accused murderer boyfriend and the lottery winning son’s pictures ended up next to each other on the front page of the Helena paper.  Which he showed to us.  How crazy is that?  And yes, daughter has since broken up with said accused murderer boyfriend.  I dropped all semblance of good manners and flat out asked.  Anyway, after splitting the 48 mil with another woman who picked the same numbers back East, splitting the resulting 24 mil with the State, and then paying taxes on the rest, lottery winning son “only” walked with $8.4M.  It was quite a story that kept us quite entertained as we scurried back and forth with the barrels.

And now to begin stalking the post office for our check!

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