The Acre Chaser
Barbara Walters did an interview with Amal Clooney some time ago. I remember the interview because she is – according to Ms Walters – a very interesting person. After watching the interview I wondered if Ms Walters thought she was interesting because she is a celebrated Human Rights Lawyer who has done amazing work for the UN, and speaks three languages fluently, or if it is because she managed to bag herself the world’s most famous bachelor? Barbara Walters stops short of calling her a gold-digger, but does make suitable reference to her ‘man-snagging abilities’. And I sympathise with Amal. I’ve been called (or inferred as being) an acre chaser or a hectare hunter. Over the course of my life with The Farmer, I’ve been called it all (but thankfully not in a LONG time however).
When I first came out here (for my three year stint as a teacher) I didn’t even want to stay forever. I had no concept of farming at all. I thought that farms were twenty acre blocks (like those that I grew up on) where you had a handful of sheep and or cattle and maybe a few small garden patches. I know it sounds completely ignorant, but I seriously had no concept at all of what farming entailed.
Once I figured out that farming was somewhat more large scale than I first anticipated, I was a little overwhelmed. To think that such a small number of people were responsible for producing such a large amount of quality product is initially hard to get your head around. And then trying to comprehend that farmers do this at the mercy of the weather was a double whammy. It was a steep learning curve and I wasn’t initially sure I was up to sticking around to learn more about it.
This part of the world isn’t for everyone, and becoming a Farmer’s Wife also isn’t for everyone. It can be a tough road, and only the toughest women will see it through until the end. A wise woman (a friendly nod to The Farmer’s grandmother) once told me that. She is certainly correct.
I understand the wall of resistance that can go up against newcomers, and especially newcomers not from a rural background. The wall comes from wanting to protect those around you who have worked so hard for what they have, and what they produce; especially from people who don’t understand all the effort behind it all. I get it. I am protective of that ideal as well.
I don’t profess to being an ‘Amal Clooney’ by any means. I do speak two languages, and I like to think that as a teacher, I do my own fair share of influencing people’s lives. Hopefully people see more to me than my ‘man-snagging abilities’ as well. I am also very tough, and fourteen years into my journey, I still feel like I am in here for the long haul. My eyes have been opened and I’m certainly up for the challenge.