June 17, 2022
During COVID my Little decided she wanted to plant a garden. I don't really have a green thumb but that's why I married a farmer! In fact, one of the first times I visited him when we were dating, he asked me to pick up some flowers to plant at the farm. Rather than confess my horticultural-shortcomings, I picked out seed packets at Walmart according to the pictures on the packets. In case you're wondering, the floral-seed photographer does a really good job of making Morning Glory blooms look pretty. (And to think he still married me!)
So, at my Little's request, my farmer had our son till a small spot in the backyard. Her daddy took her to our local feed store where she measured tablespoons of seeds. She selected your basics: tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, squash, pumpkins, watermelon and melon. I don't recall why but all that really produced that first year was a few token okra plants and squash. But she didn't care. She was excited to experience what her daddy does every time he plants, and something comes up and bears fruit, no matter how little. She was officially a farmer.
Every summer since, her garden spot has grown. She says, Daddy, I want a bigger garden and voila, our son is tilling, and the fence boundary expanded. The two of them make a list of what she wants to plant. She even draws a diagram as to where everything is planted. The pair discuss row spacing and placement. And then most days, she's out there tending to it without prompting.
I was struck as I sat and watched the two of them, her squatted down looking at her rows of carefully planted seeds, him hoeing and talking to her about how often to water and how much. She just takes it all in. There's just something special about a daddy making his little girl's dreams come true. It starts with the simple things.
My farmer is sowing his own seeds. Seeds that aren't deterred by the current drought or economic climate. He's planting seeds of value, that my Little's ideas are heard and important and garner action not just discussion. Seeds of time, that she's worth the sacrifice even though he's tired and weary from this drought. Seeds of trust, that a man is a man of his word. He follows through and goes the extra mile. And seeds of love. Daddy, in all his perfections and imperfections, shows up over and over again, initiates with her, encourages her. Just simply loves her.
In a way, all daddies are farmers. Every day you are planting seeds in the hearts of your kids but for a harvest of immeasurable worth. Make no mistake dads, you're a big deal. Happy Father's Day and happy planting.
About the Author(s)
Editor, Southwest Farm Press
Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.
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