My new employers at the family farm have more than greenhouses. They’ve got fields—expanses of newly-tilled and nutrient-fortified dirt primed for summer planting. After a couple days in the greenhouse I got to spend one outside under the sun (with a wide-brimmed hat and a slathering of SPF 50).
The heat outside was intense as our five-person crew prepared row after row of irrigation infrastructure all morning, then hand-planted cucumber seeds all afternoon. But at least it was a dry heat. Instead of feeling sheets of sweat creep down my skin all day, I found dirt everywhere that night: caked in my eyebrows, dusted into my hairline, blackening the snot I sneezed out, matted thinly up each arm, ground deep into my fingernails. Sweat and dirt have become my new epidermis.