The last time my gentle readers viewed this humble blog I was in quite a stew over 30 acres which I didn't want but accepted anyway and then it appeared it was taken away from me. Sort of insult to injury, if you would...
So, yesterday morning I called my farmer friend/short term landlord to attempt to find out exactly what was going on. He didn't answer...
Shortly afterwards my phone rang and it was a friend who works for the Big Farmer who disced up the field I thought was mine, and he needs some straw.
I asked him what he knew. He says, that while he avoids getting involved with planning sessions he had heard the owners talking about the field. My farmer friend/short term landlord, shall we call him FFSTL for short, (cause its kind of a catchy acronym) has been after them to plant filberts on this ground for some time. (Remember the BIG Farmer farms the good ground owned by FFSTL.)
My straw friend says that it was discussed last week and the plan was to disk the field as soon as I got straw baled off the field. They were politely waiting for me. And he stressed that his boss wasn't all that excited about farming this hard to get to piece of ground and he was pretty sure his Big Farmer boss would not take ground away from a Lazy Farmer such as myself.
But, he added, he really knew nothing official as he tries to stay out of company business.
So I apologized for taking so long to bale the straw and asked if to please explain my slowness to bale the straw as I was baling everyone else's straw first and FFSTL had been trying to get me to farm the place for the past five years or so. I also pointed out that I had asked FFSTL why he didn't just get the Big Farmer to farm the place to begin with?
I was somewhat impressed that the Big Farmer actually gave a rip that I had straw to bale. The other Big Farmers around here would have just baled it themselves and said nothing.
Since it was now quite obvious that the deal had been made at least a month ago...
I had barely gotten off the phone when FFSTL called me.
He says that the Big Farmer had called him out of the blue and said he was working ground in the area and could work of the field. He also said that he was not able to get him to work up the other 20 acres for me.
I said, "what are you talking about. Am I farming your place or not? I'm pretty sure Big Farmer didn't stop by and disk the field up just to be friendly."
FFSTL starts talking about 30 acres for hazelnuts and this being a whole unexpected development and his family needing to get money out of the ground, and I could farm the rest and this whole speech completely different from what I expect is true.
I said, "you mean the other five ares?"
He says, "Well I'm going to talk to Big Farmer on Monday and I'll let you know what is going on."
I just said,"Ok and hung up."
Now... This was a pretty long story with a few too many details but has common elements that I have heard so many times.
In my case, Big Farmer was somewhat of a long time family friend. So I didn't have that little extra twist of the screw that the new big farmer likes to give you when he steals you land out from under you.
No, this is your typical landlord screwing. The guy pretends to be your friend, he doesn't so much lie to you as just live in a fantasy dream land.
I think one needs to learn to live off of what one owns. I'm not sure how to do it but you certainly can't trust anyone these days. I guess that is why written rental agreements were invented...