A Farmer: The Biggest Gambler Around

22 Jun
A Farmer: The Biggest Gambler Around

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It was just a blink ago, a short couple of weeks that Atlanta experienced several days of soil soaking rain; afterward, we basked beneath a cool breeze and tolerable temperatures. However this morning as June bugs fly across the lawn I sense a change deep in my bones.

A drought is coming.

I can feel it in the stillness of the air, hear it in the silence of the birdsong.

Heat. Oppressive heat has rolled into Atlanta and brought with it not a hint of rain.

Rain is the lifeblood for farmers such as Billy Albertson. With more and more “city folk” depending on his fresh locally grown produce, the garden this year was full of promise.

Today, with new beans developing and tomatoes just about to turn red, the growing season is in jeopardy.

“If we don’t get some rain by next week, all will be lost,” Billy told me this morning when he rang the phone at 7:15 am.

Farmers don’t take the summer off, and they certainly don’t allow the helpers to sleep in.

“I know, which is why I put out the Pray-For-Rain sign,” I replied, equally concerned.

Most people would ask, “why doesn’t he just water the garden?” Those are the people who have never planted 250 tomato plants, people that do not understand that nothing, absolutely nothing compares to Heaven-sent rain drops.

Bless their hearts.

“I guess we could trickle some of that reclaimed water down the corn stalks,” Billy says more to himself than me. “That might help.”

He and I both know that it won’t. Once the Georgia clay starts cracking, only God can soothe the soil.

Cracks in the soil form as the earth begs for rain.

At my home, I snake a hose from the heat pump to my garden.

Billy doesn’t have that luxury; for you see, he doesn’t have air conditioning. Even though he is in the middle of the city, his water source is a well. If he used a hose to water vegetables, he wouldn’t have anything to drink. The water he uses on the garden comes from reclaimed rainwater, which is why the Pray for Rain request is a plea, a hand-on-knees cry to the One who makes the rain.

Please, please send us some rain.

Won’t you join me in asking for a few drops from heaven?

Renea Winchester is an award-winning author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes. Learn more at


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2 responses to “A Farmer: The Biggest Gambler Around

  1. GV

    June 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I think it’s too early to make that call. The rain will come.

  2. latebloomershow

    June 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Hope you get some rain in Atlanta, for everyone’s sake!


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