Touch and go El Niño 2016

January 30, 2016

Overall, despite the hotter than drier climatic conditions – I’ve been hardly affected by the devastating effects of El Niño.

Unlike most other areas we have not experienced a delay in the seasonal rains. This of course may all change in a drop of a hat, but as it is – everything seems to be relatively normal.

The hotter weather and lower precipitation has certainly impacted the kampung (village) economy. The prawn and cockles business has all been devastated.

There is a 50/50 chance the seasonal rains will suddenly stop. If this happens it would drastically affect cash crops. That still remains to be seen.

Things appear normal….but something tells me…this might just be the lull before the perfect storm.

The birds are very restless. So are the dogs….perhaps, they sense something evil coming this way.

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‘If you ask me why did I decide to be a farmer. It’s probably has a lot to do with my discomfort concerning the the word ‘work.’ Human beings I notice are the only animals in this planet who NEED to work – and I happen to think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world!

I say it’s ridiculous because ALL animals seem to make their living by just living, but humans only seem to work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to get by in this world.

The really funny thing about humans is we even take exceptional pride in boasting about our work! It’s as if work is much more than just work, it’s become an outer personification of who we are and what we stand for.

As a consequence we invest so much of ourselves in the idea of work that eventually we just lose sight of the bigger picture in life.

I am not saying for one moment, farming is easy. Not at all. But comparatively, it’s a much more simpler way to get by in this world. For example, I don’t need to deal with the corrosive aspects of power and politics. I don’t even need to dress well, I could for example just wear khaki all year round and if things get to nutty – I always have to option to say, ‘this conversation is over…please get off my land!’

The really great thing about farming is it’s a very organic way to make a living – man isn’t supposed to be put into an air conditioned chicken coup for eight straight hours in a day – he is supposed to move around, sweat and feel the honesty of his muscles as he dedicates himself to the whole idea of work – so to me, farming is a remarkably stress free way to live.

For example, I happen to have more time than the average cookie cutter – it’s definitely a much more relaxed way to live. If I want fresh meat – I just hunt. I don’t have to do stupid things like stand in line in NTUC just to buy scraps. If I want to work…I work. If it’s too hot or it rains…I take a nap. I go with the flow. My point is the pace and cadence of farming is much closer to the way animals get by.

In such a life, work is not work as most people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done. That’s why I’ve always believed farming is a superior way of life – it certainly provides me with an opportunity to live my life under my own terms. I wouldn’t want to live any other way.’

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