Is it FOMO or FOMO?

Understandably, the farm does not pay the bills, so I need to work another full-time job, as so many other farmers do.

This job is in nonprofit and gives me the opportunity to step away from the farm for a few hours each day and interact with people instead of a hundred or more hungry mouths to feed.

My coworkers at my “day job” are all almost half my age, and I’ve joked with them countless times about how I could be their mother and how strange that really is. They tolerate my nuances, laughing when I try to talk the lingo of their generation, Gen Z, words such as, skrrt, cheugy and boujee.

I get the usual eyeroll when I call something “sus” because I’m trying to sound cool by calling out something suspicious, and if I really want to get them good, I simply say, “Hey, I’ve got FOMO.”

Now, FOMO, for all of those out there not in the know of Gen Z, means “fear of missing out,” but I’ve had a thought since I heard the acronym about a year or so ago. I don’t think in my case it necessarily means fear of missing out but rather farm or miss out.

You see, spring is one of the busiest times on the farm for me. While I’m at work trying to stay caught up on everything there, everything at the farm is just waiting for me to come home at the end of the day and toss its own flavor into my day.

There may be waterers that have been turned over by overzealous chickens who were chasing one another through their coop, a quick walk through the fruit trees may present a case of leaf curl on the peach trees, which indicates I need to stay on top of pest treatments, or I may just have a wayward hen that is frantically running on the outside of the chicken yard, having found a way to get out but no clue how to get back into the safety of her flock.

Oh yes, there are countless ways my FOMO can present itself on the farm. If I take an evening to spend some time away from the usual evening chores, I can guarantee those, with a little bit added, will be waiting for me when I return. It’s a choice I need to make each and every day — to farm or miss out.

All that being said, without these things to keep my days spicy and interesting, I truly would have FOMO in the sense that the word was created to mean. I truly would have a fear of missing out if I couldn’t walk out the back door to the open field and enjoy the honey bees chasing each other from dandelion to dandelion or the roosters screaming at the top of their crows in order to ensure they are heard.

Perhaps my fear of missing out is what inspires me to farm or miss out or perhaps I’m just sus about that. I can hear my Gen Z coworkers rolling their eyes from here.

Until next time…

Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at Send comments to [email protected].