Sunday, August 12, 2007

It was an accident waiting to happen.

One second I was standing on the tractor trying to fish out the seat belt, the next second I was on my butt in a bed of celeriac, clasping my wrist. I can see the lurid headline now: Farm accident claims technical writer.

Long story short (because I am typing with one hand): One of the things I like about working for Gretta is that I get to do pretty much what I feel like doing. Yesterday I weeded the watermelons and humongous squash plants. And then there was the anticipated pleasure of driving the tractor with the wind whipping through my hair (someone with transplantor experience may recognize this as a slight exaggeration).

I don’t remember thinking that the afternoon would be incomplete without a trip to the emergency room (although the on-call doctor backing up my primary care physician was right about there being NO WAIT at the Faulkner Hospital ER. Good to know.)

That said, I offer my personal take on the top 10 risks to avoid on the farm:

10. Inhaling chicken fertilizer
9. Choking on dust
8. Weeding squash beds without the protection of a hazmat suit
7. Encountering overly friendly woodchucks
6. Changing clothes in the hoop house when older men (of the Italian farmer persuasion) may be passing by
5. Seeding too much broccoli rabe
4. Seeding too little broccoli rabe
3. Farming in the nude close to moving machinery parts
2. Walking too close to the straw mulch while holding a lit flame weeder
1. Anything involving tractors

Having broken my other wrist 10 years ago on the day that I was packing for a long awaited trip to new Zealand, I know that things could be worse. This time, it’s not my dominant hand, and I don’t have to worry about fitting a sleeve over the cast. Six weeks of one-armed showers will pass.

It’s almost worth the trouble to see the look I get in return when I explain that I fell off a tractor.

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